The Chelsea winger André Schürrle has hit back at Brendan Rodgers’ criticism of Jose Mourinho’s team’s approach at Anfield on Sunday, saying that it is “jealousy” that makes beaten opponents so hypercritical.
Schürrle, 23, played an important role on the left side in the 2-0 win for Chelsea at Anfield that had such a profound effect on Liverpool’s chances of winning the Premier League title for the first time in 24 years. Chelsea were accused of “parking two buses” by Rodgers, whose most caustic words were saved for the Chelsea manager Mourinho when he said: “It is not difficult to coach to just get 10 players right on your 18-yard box.”
The Germany international, whose signing was approved by Mourinho when he took over last summer, said that “winning is what matters”. Schürrle said: “It’s the most important thing. You can play perfect football, lots of one-touch stuff, and you lose. But that’s not what you want – you want to win.
“There’s no point in playing well and losing. If our plan is to win playing this way, and we win, then it is perfect. If people look at us and say ‘Chelsea can’t play’, even when we win, it’s just because they’re jealous.
“I’ve learnt so much from Mourinho and love being in his team and learning new roles. When I was in Germany I never played like this, so defensive – almost a left-back. But that is good for me, because it was something I missed in Germany, the defensive work.
“He [Mourinho] said we needed to be perfect defensively and that is what I tried. We need to show we could be in a fight, a battle, and win it. If that means we have to be willing to do something that earns a yellow card, then we have to be ready to do that for each other and I’m happy to do that.”
The expectation is that captain John Terry will come back into the side for the Champions League semi-final second leg against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night, having turned his ankle in the away game. It is also expected that Ashley Cole will keep his place in the back four.
On Chelsea’s season, Schürrle added: “Everybody thinks we can win the league and the Champions League. We know it will be tough. But we have to believe, and we do. We have to do everything in our power to win the two league games we’ve got left and hope Liverpool and City both give us something.”
* Mourinho on Monday denied an FA misconduct charge related to his post-match comments following the defeat to Sunderland. His assistant Rui Faria, who was dismissed for confronting the match officials, has admitted two charges of misconduct and requested a non-personal hearing.