• Premier League

Gerrard slip cost Liverpool title - Mourinho

ESPN staff
November 7, 2014
Steven Gerrard could not hide his disappointment as Liverpool slumped to a 2-1 loss to Chelsea last season © Getty Images

Jose Mourinho has described Steven Gerrard's slip against Chelsea last season as the moment that cost Liverpool the title.

Liverpool began their game against Chelsea in April knowing that only a draw would have maintained their advantage over Manchester City in the title race, but they eventually slumped to a 2-0 defeat, with Gerrard making the error that allowed Demba Ba to open the scoring just before half-time.

"It gave the title to City, as simple as that," said Mourinho as he prepares to take Chelsea back to Anfield on Saturday. "Liverpool, with a point in that match, would have been champions. Without it, they lost the title."

Chelsea went into the match with no realistic prospect of winning the league after a shock 2-1 loss at home to Sunderland the previous weekend and Mourinho added: "It meant nothing to us.

"After our defeat against Sunderland, our position was the sub-position. That match, for us, meant just professional pride. You have to go for every game and try to win, but we were not in the race. It was just a match that gave the title to Man City."

The aftermath of the game saw Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers complain that Chelsea's defensive approach was "not difficult to coach", while Mourinho remained aggrieved by the manner in which the game's scheduling affected his preparation for the Champions League semi-final against Atletico Madrid three days later.

Although Mourinho claimed all is now fine with his former protege Rodgers - the pair worked together at Chelsea during the Portuguese's first stint in charge - he referred to how Liverpool had spent "fantastically" following the sale of Luis Suarez and talked about how "people pretend to be clever" when talking about attacking and defending.

He was asked whether Saturday's game would see a role reversal from April's fixture, with Liverpool forced to sit back against an assertive Chelsea.

"I don't know," he said. "Our intention is to win. Our intention is, when we have the ball, to score goals. When Liverpool have the ball, we have to try and stop them scoring. It's the ABC of football.

"Sometimes some people pretend to be clever or influence the opinion of others and say it's not the ABC of football, but it is. You have to try and score when you have the ball and stop them scoring. I've done this ever since I've been a coach, and will do until my last day."

Mourinho suggested Suarez's move to Barcelona should not necessarily be a negative for Liverpool in the long term, given the money they have spent.

"Obviously [he is] a very good player, and when you lose good players you lose something," he said. "But they have fantastic funds to invest in a new squad, to improve their squad.

"They improved it a lot, buying so many players, so many important players, all of them internationals, some of them internationals for England, so they invested very, very well. Their potential is there."

Mourinho also said he thrived on the atmosphere of Anfield, despite talking about how the crowd can influence refereeing decisions, and referencing Liverpool's "ghost goal" in the 2005 Champions League semifinal against his previous Chelsea side.

"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," he said.

"First of all I don't play. Secondly, I like... I don't think it affects my players' performances, but in the past we have examples of it affecting performances - goals that are not goals, penalties given that aren't penalties. But it's a fantastic atmosphere for all of us to enjoy and play a good game."

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