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Jose impressed by Rodgers

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho says he is not surprised that former protégé Brendan Rodgers has turned Liverpool into title contenders.

Last Updated: 29/12/13 at 19:20 Post Comment    Bet with SkyBet  Chelsea Specials 13/14. Click here to bet.

Brendan Rodgers in his Chelsea days

Brendan Rodgers in his Chelsea days

Rodgers was one of Mourinho's former pupils at Chelsea, having worked under the Portuguese before embarking on his own managerial career.

The pair, who remained friends, go head to head on Sunday at Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho said: "We speak about basic things, 'Good luck', 'Well done', 'How's family?', 'Happy Christmas'.

"He was always a very open guy, open to learn, open to give his opinion, very interested in the game. We like him very much, me and my staff, we liked him very much since he started working with us.

"He's at one of the top clubs in England, one of the top clubs in the world. His ambitions now are to win titles at a big club."

During Mourinho's first spell, Chelsea and Liverpool were involved in some titanic tussles, particularly in cup and European competitions.

Mourinho and Rafael Benitez, who the Portuguese succeeded at Chelsea this summer, had an intense rivalry which peaked around Luis Garcia's 'ghost' goal, which helped to take Liverpool to the 2005 Champions League final, won by the Reds.

"You only have rivalries with big clubs, you don't have rivalries with small clubs, and Liverpool is a big club," Mourinho said.

"They were fighting with us for titles, for Champions League semi-finals, for cup finals, so it's normal.

"But at the same time I'm full of respect for Liverpool as a club, for Liverpool's history. I always had that and I haven't changed that because I am at a rival club."

Asked if Liverpool are now as good as they were then, Mourinho said: "They were a good team but they are building a good team now, too. I like their team."

Mourinho says that to beat the Reds on Sunday, they will have to be more ruthless in front of goal.

"For Chelsea to beat Liverpool, we need to score more goals with less chances," he said.

"Normally you don't create against Liverpool five or six or seven big chances. You get two or three and you need to score. We need to score more."

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Readers' Comments

I

may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

H

ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

TheWhiz
Wenger hails important win

I

s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
De Gea's Europa League target

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