Pep Guardiola insists his description of Tottenham as "the Harry Kane team" has been misinterpreted after Mauricio Pochettino branded his comment "sad" and "disrespectful".
Pochettino also pointed out he never called Guardiola's Barcelona side "the Lionel Messi team" and said his Spurs players laughed when they heard the Spaniard's remark.
Kane has scored 11 goals in his last six appearances for Tottenham, and Guardiola, speaking a fortnight ago after City had just beaten Chelsea, said: "We saw again the Harry Kane team scores every day two or three goals."
Guardiola, however, claimed on Friday that Pochettino had taken his words the wrong way.
"I think Mauricio has made a mistake. Never in my career have I not been respectful," Guardiola said.
"I think about this from the times we've met each other and the times I spoke with him. Maybe my memory is not so well but I was never disrespectful to my colleague. I was never disrespectful in a press conference, never.
"When I talked about Harry Kane's team, it was because Harry Kane was scoring a lot of goals and I know perfectly that Tottenham are not Harry Kane alone.
"So I think last season, the person who spoke most about appreciating the way Tottenham play was me. When they lost to Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final, I said it was incredible, because Chelsea had four shots on target and scored four goals.
"As I said, Tottenham are one of the best teams playing. So I'm really disappointed if he said that."