Liverpool vs Chelsea: Jose Mourinho claims football chiefs wanted Blues 'to go and lose' at Anfield last season

The Special One was furious with the scheduling of the match

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The Independent Football

Jose Mourinho believes the football authorities wanted Chelsea to lose at Anfield last April to hand Liverpool a first championship in 24 years.

Mourinho was frustrated that Chelsea's request to bring the Premier League match forward from the Sunday preceding their Champions League semi-final second leg with Atletico Madrid, which the Blues lost, was rejected.

"I felt that day was a day that was ready for their celebration," Mourinho told Gary Neville last month in a Telegraph interview.

"They want us to be the clowns in the circus. The circus is here. Liverpool are to be champions."

Speaking on the eve of Chelsea's trip to Anfield, Mourinho was asked who the "clowns" were that he was referring to.

"Not Liverpool. I was talking about the situation," Mourinho said.

"When people make the decision to make us play on Sunday when we had to play the Champions League semi-final second leg two days later it's because they don't want you to compete, they want you to go and lose.

"Liverpool did what they had to do (in not moving the fixture). Try to have the easiest possible game to be champions. Everybody knows if they draw that game they're champions.

"We went there, we gave everything, but we did that against Liverpool. We would do the same (against other opposition).

"We were the pros. We did what we had to do. I don't think the people that made the decision to make us play that day did a professional job."

 

Mourinho's perception was that the game had the feel of a coronation, with bunting present on an emotionally-charged occasion close to the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard's slip allowed Demba Ba to race clear and score and Willian scored a late second as Chelsea won 2-0.

Asked specifically about Gerrard's error, Mourinho said: "It gave the title to Man City. It's as simple as that.

"Liverpool, with a point in that match, are champions and because they lost that match they lost the title.

"It meant nothing to us after our defeat against Sunderland. Our position was third position.

"That match meant just the professional pride - you have to go to every match and try to win."

Liverpool are 12 points behind Chelsea after 10 games of the current season having endured a challenging start following the sale of talismanic striker Luis Suarez.

Mourinho, who has a fully-fit squad to choose from and plans to start Diego Costa despite the striker's exclusion from the Spain squad, thinks Brendan Rodgers' men should not dwell on the past.

"I think they have not to think about last season, they have enough motivations for this season," Mourinho added.

"If I was in their position I would go back to last season for the good memories. (But) it's up to them."

Despite the points gap between the two clubs, Mourinho insists Rodgers' side remain title rivals.

He added: "They are fighting for the title, the same as we are.

"Last season when we played them we were not fighting for the title because we had a surprise the match before, (losing) against Sunderland that stopped us going to Anfield to discuss the title.

"This moment is different because both teams are fighting."

Mourinho was critical of the Stamford Bridge atmosphere following Chelsea's 2-1 win over QPR last week.

He does not believe his team will be cowed by the intensity of a big match at Anfield, but hinted that in his view referees sometimes got caught up in it too easily.

He added: "I like to play there, but I have to say that some people feel the atmosphere in a negative way, affecting the performance. That's not my case.

"I don't think it affects my players' performances either. (But) in the past we have clear examples of it affecting others - goals that are not goals, penalties that are not given.

"It's a fantastic atmosphere for all of us to enjoy and try to enjoy a beautiful game."

Chelsea's tactics last term - a suffocating defence and lethal counter-attack - were criticised by Rodgers.

The Blues have more attacking verve this season with Costa and Cesc Fabregas flourishing in the top flight and as a partnership.

Mourinho added: "Our intention is to win. Our intention is when we have the ball we want to try to score goals and when Liverpool have the ball we have to try to stop them from scoring.

"Sometimes some people pretend to be clever (but) this is the ABC of football.

"I did this since I am a coach and I'm going to do this till my last day."

Costa will miss Spain's Euro 2016 qualifying match with Belarus and friendly with World Cup winners Germany later this month.

Mourinho will play Costa, scorer of nine goals in eight league games, at Liverpool, before enforcing rest to allow him to recover from his persistent hamstring problems.

"He starts the game," Mourinho said.

"The plan is immediately after the match to have a period of complete rest. No training, no treatment."

Mourinho insisted he did not intervene to request Spain boss Vicente del Bosque would not call on Costa.

Mourinho said: "I want to make it very, very clear that I did nothing for that to happen.

"It's very good news for him, for us and also for the national team.

"Now he has to go in the right direction. It's good for Spain to have a good Diego and not a so-so Diego."

PA

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