Mourinho accuses Liverpool of being unworthy champions of Europe

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The Independent Football

The attack came as the Chelsea manager recalled the controversial goal by Luis Garcia in April that gave Rafael Benitez's side passage to Istanbul where they beat Milan on penalties to claim a fifth European Cup.

"There was a great atmosphere at the semi-final and I respect the Liverpool supporters for creating it because that means they must love their club," Mourinho said. "But I think the only person influenced by the atmosphere was the linesman, not the players.

"They didn't score but I accept they beat us because we stayed at home and they went to the final. I was upset at the time but not any more. I will say they didn't score for the rest of my life.

"I will never forget the goal nobody scored, just as I will never forget Costinha's goal at Old Trafford that took Porto through the year before. Many times the winners of the Champions' League are not the best team in Europe. Liverpool were not. The team that played the most beautiful football in Europe last season was Barçelona and we deserve credit for beating them. Liverpool deserve credit for what they did in the final, for beating Chelsea without scoring a goal and for beating Juventus. When Porto were European Champions I think AC Milan and Real Madrid were the best in Europe but we never played them."

Mourinho was also seething at claims that Chelsea's stranglehold on the Premiership had contributed to a reduction in the entertainment value of English football. He suggested that negative football from Liverpool was more to blame, recalling their five meetings of last season. "The first game at Stamford Bridge in the Premiership they defended all game," Mourinho said, "and only attacked when we scored with 15 minutes to go. In the second game in Liverpool they had a strong start and I thought it was going to be 0-0 until we scored near the end.

"The Carling Cup Final, they were 1-0 up before the game had even started so they defended with everything for the whole game. The fourth game they went to defend, we couldn't score, then in Liverpool they beat us in a game in which nobody scored."

He continued his assault on Liverpool by insisting that Chelsea could knock them out of the title race with victory on their return to Anfield in the Premiership on Sunday. "Tomorrow we are both in a good situation, but on Sunday we will be in a good situation and they are not. If somebody loses tomorrow they have four more matches to get to nine points but if they lose on Sunday then it is finished for them."