Chelsea vs Liverpool: Jose Mourinho asks Chelsea fans to recreate Anfield atmosphere at Stamford Bridge for second leg

Chelsea boss hoping fans can make a difference next week

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The Independent Football

Jose Mourinho has repeated his plea for a noisy Stamford Bridge when Chelsea play Liverpool next week for a place in the Capital One Cup final.

The Blues drew 1-1 at Anfield on Tuesday night and play the Reds in the semi-final second-leg bidding for a place in the March 1 final at Wembley.

Mourinho, who won the League Cup twice in his first spell at the club, was critical of Chelsea fans following November's win over QPR, saying he felt his side were playing in an "empty stadium".

The Portuguese believes a partisan crowd can make a big difference next week against Brendan Rodgers' visitors.

"It was a two-leg semi-final, now it's a one-leg semi-final. That says a lot," Mourinho told Chelsea TV.

"Two legs is difficult, Anfield is difficult and with this result we transform a two-leg semi-final into a one-leg semi-final at Stamford Bridge.

"If Stamford Bridge can give us 25 per cent of the emotion Anfield gives Liverpool, I think we can do it. Liverpool, instead of 40,000 fans, they will have five or 10 (thousand).

"Chelsea, instead of 1,000, will have 40,000. I hope that can make a difference in the atmosphere."

The Blues have only once failed to win at home this season - when drawing with Schalke in the Champions League - and won all 10 of their home Premier League games.

Like Mourinho, Eden Hazard, who converted a penalty at Anfield, called for the home support to create an intimidating atmosphere.

The Belgium playmaker told Chelsea TV: "We are very strong at home. We need to win, because a draw is not enough. We need the support, the fans, everybody to go to Wembley."

Hazard missed his most recent prior spot kick at Maribor and was relieved to net this time round.

"I was a little bit scared because sometimes in training in Belgium with (Liverpool goalkeeper Simon) Mignolet), he saves my penalties," Hazard added. "When I saw the ball touch the net it was good for me."

After a 5-0 win at Swansea which had Mourinho purring, he was frustrated by the lack of accuracy of his side's passing.

"We were ready to hurt them much more but the quality of our passing was not good," Mourinho added. "We didn't have chances to score, but we had lots of opportunities to go for a killing action. The opposite to what happened at Swansea."

Thibaut Courtois returned in goal for Chelsea following a minor hand injury.

Courtois said: "The second leg will be like a final. It's just we win or they win. We have to win in front of our fans and go on to Wembley. "For them it's a big opportunity to win a trophy this season, to go to the final. Obviously we want to play too. It will be a hell of a second game, I think."

Courtois' return saw Petr Cech drop out of the starting XI.

Mourinho is happy to have two high-class goalkeepers fighting for one place in the team and Courtois knows he must be at his best to stay as number one.

Courtois told the London Evening Standard: "I was not 100 per cent fit last week. I still had pain in my thumb and it's not good to play if you know you can't help the team at the fullest. I have no pain in the thumb now.

"We have another top keeper who was there to play so the thinking was about the team. He is behind me and pushing me. I know in training that we are working hard and at a really high level. Petr is a top goalkeeper and I have to play well to continue to play.

"We are not busy being against each other, though, we just want to help the team. That's the important thing."

PA

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