Mourinho not happy with defeat

Jose Mourinho continued to claim that finishing top of Group G or not was of no importance to him after last night’s match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, but he still seemed a little upset. He evaded questions on Michael Essien’s horror tackle on Didi Hamann – although there’s still a chance of a UEFA investigation into that – and instead complained about Liverpool’s way of playing. He said: “First or second doesn’t matter. I don’t see another team in the Champions League who can come and play like they did. I don’t think many teams in Europe play like Liverpool did tonight. I am not happy because we didn’t win the game. It shows the way teams play – they defend very well and defended with everyone behind the ball, they pressed the ball and they don’t give many chances to create or score. When you only have two or three chances in the game and don’t score one of them, then it ends zero-zero.”

Liverpool have now played Chelsea four times in the Champions League this year and Chelsea have been unable to score in any of those European matches. The 4-1 win that Chelsea had over Liverpool at Anfield was a slightly misleading score line, but maybe Mourinho had read too much into it. Still, Chelsea did still go through to the next stage, after Liverpool’s win over Real Betis in the last round of games, so Mourinho still has something to look forward to. Perhaps it’s a relief to him that he’s seen the last of any English sides in the competition, for the time-being at least. When the draw for the next round takes place there’s only a limited number of possibilities as to who Chelsea will play: “It’s an open draw. The only thing we know is that we won’t play against Liverpool and the other English teams. We have five or six possibilities and we have to be ready for them.”

As far as Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez is concerned, Liverpool are where they should be in the competition: “We deserve to finish top. We have more points than the others. We have done another good job, another clean sheet. We created some chances on counter attack. In our last game against Chelsea we made some mistakes but we have progressed now.”

Benitez felt his planning for the game had worked: “When you play against Chelsea you need to control midfield and second balls because they throw long balls forward all the time, so you need to keep the ball up front and you need to use players like Crouch and Morientes for them.”