| 6.6°C Dublin

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

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 an interview with a UK newspaper. "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: "It's a fantastic atmosphere for all of us to enjoy and try to enjoy a beautiful game."

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."


Privacy