Blatter intervenes in row over Essien's high tackle

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The Independent Football

Jose Mourinho's conviction that he is treated differently to other managers will not be eased by the Fifa president Sepp Blatter's reminder yesterday that Uefa can still discipline Michael Essien for his brutal challenge on Dietmar Hamann that went unpunished in Tuesday's Champions' League tie.

Blatter, head of the world game's governing body, made the remarks in Leipzig ahead of tomorrow's World Cup finals draw when he reminded his counterparts in Uefa, in charge of the European game, that they could still use video evidence to punish Essien for the knee-high challenge.

The Fifa president drew attention to a 1994 ruling that sanctioned the use of television evidence and pointed out that it was Uefa's duty to review it if the German referee Herbert Fandel said that he had not seen the full severity of the foul on the Liverpool midfielder. If the official is confident that he dealt with the incident properly during the game, Essien will not face further action - if not, he could face disciplinary measures.

The bad feeling between Chelsea and Liverpool has not been eased by the tense 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night which left Hamann hobbling and Harry Kewell requiring stitches in his shin after a tackle by William Gallas.

It could set up another awkward disagreement between Uefa and Chelsea, who fell out in spectacular style over the conduct of referee Anders Frisk in the Nou Camp leg of Chelsea's tie with Barcelona last year.

Uefa would have little appetite for another dispute, especially since Mourinho has at last called a truce with it, but they will have to be directed by Fandel's opinion on the incident.

While the two clubs are still yet to meet at Stamford Bridge on 4 February, John Terry said after the match that Mourinho's record against Rafa Benitez's Liverpool - four wins, three draws and one defeat - was all the evidence required to show that Chelsea were the better of the two sides. He added that the real indicator of quality was their relative positions in the Premiership.

Terry said: "I don't want to go into what happened last season. They won it. Sometimes it's just not meant to be. But it is hard to take.

"Even now the thought of Liverpool winning the trophy is still there in the back of our minds," he added. "I suppose it always will be for the rest of my career. I know we're a better team than them. The Premier League says it all, I think."

He admitted to a disappointment at finishing second in Group G, although that does mean that Chelsea will not face Real Madrid, who also came second in their group.

Liverpool will have to wait until the Champions' League draw on 16 December to learn whether finishing top of the group was an advantage or not.

Terry added: "They are a bit defensive. [Jamie] Carragher and [Sami] Hyypia have defended very well and they've played very deep. They came for the point and got what they wanted.

"But with the side we've got we should be able to break them down," Terry insisted.

"They did the same thing at their place but in the League game up there [a 4-1 victory at Anfield in October] we scored an early goal and they had to come out after that.

"That's the key to playing them. We needed to start a lot better than we did, a lot sharper. It wasn't sloppy but the tempo of our passing was a little bit slow. If we'd scored an early goal they'd have been forced to come at us and the game would have opened up.

"Against Barcelona and Bayern Munich last season we were at it right from the word go," he said, "and if we want to go further in this competition we'll have to start a lot better and get at them."

While Barcelona came to Stamford Bridge for the first knock-out round last year committed to attacking football, Terry acknowledged that others may adopt a more defensive strategy to try to frustrate the Premiership champions. In four Champions' League games between Liverpool and Chelsea, only one goal has been scored, by Luis Garcia in Liverpool's 1-0 win in the second leg of the semi-final in May.

Terry said: "Other teams can look at this if they want and believe this is the way to stop Chelsea but with the players and resources we have it won't work. This time it didn't work out for us and we weren't able to break them down. More or less every home game teams are coming here and sitting back but we've always managed to break them down.

"We've got a great home record but it tends to be when teams come to Stamford Bridge they are sitting back deep. If they want to come and play like that we'll let them do it and break them down.

"Liverpool haven't got under our skins exactly, but that's a couple of times now they've done this to us. But we've also beaten them comfortably a couple of times so it's just a case of getting the right balance."

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