Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho tonight demanded that "people in general" start to respect him and his team. He said: "We deserve more respect, not from Liverpool but from people in general. We are a good team. We have eight matches and eight victories, with 16 goals, but people say we cannot play, that we are a group of clowns. This is not right. My team showed big personalities but the title is not over yet."
The fact that Mourinho’s own players claim the title is now a formality was conveniently ignored. The fact that most people’s reason for disliking Chelsea – and this is from more supporters than just Liverpool’s – is because of the arrogance of the whole Chelsea set-up. Emails sent to this site last season when Chelsea were knocked out of the Champions League by Liverpool illustrates this – many fans of many teams who were all delighted to see Chelsea out of the cup.
Another club in London claim that nobody likes them and they don’t care – Chelsea seem to be aiming for a bit of that themselves. Basking in the glory of a victory that was deserved – although not as much as the scoreline suggested – Mourinho chose to have a go at Liverpool verbally: "I know they cannot play against us face to face. They have to defend or wait for a mistake and a goal. When they play against us face to face they can’t win."
In fact it was a mistake by Djimi Traore in conceding a penalty which allowed Chelsea to go in front. Although Liverpool equalised, Chelsea again profited when Sami Hyypia seemed to go to sleep when faced with Drogba. After that Chelsea shut up shop and scored twice more on the break as Liverpool went all-out to try and score. Liverpool have still got a lot to learn, but Rafa Benitez will ensure they do learn it.
Mourinho enjoyed the chance to have a go at Liverpool: "If Rafael Benitez says we have weaknesses that must be because he knows. He is a great manager but I also know the weaknesses of my team. The whole team was excellent. Didier Drogba was absolutely incredible. The way he dominated everything was incredible." In fact Drogba should have been yellow-carded early in the game, but for whatever reason referee Graham Poll decided a talking to was enough for him. Lampard was booked for inciting the crowd, it’s unlikely the FA will take any further action against him. They’ll certainly not take action anything like Robbie Fowler received when he taunted Everton fans in a derby and ultimately missed the end of the season.
Lampard himself chose to avoid making any career-threatening tackles today, anonymous apart from the penalty he scored. He said: "It’s a great result for us. We showed we mean business here. There was a lot of talk about us being scared of coming here – we are not scared of going anywhere. A lot of things were said about us after the Champions League game in midweek, but we did our talking out on the pitch so we are delighted."
Lampard wants people to stop criticising them in the press: "We felt a lot of things were said that were wrong. We want to now keep our focus. We don’t think we are invincible but we are really happy with this win."