Football

Mourinho hits back at critics

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho taunted Liverpool about their ineffective tactics after his side handed Manchester City the initiative in the Premier League title race with victory at Anfield.

Chelsea's 2-0 success on Sunday means that City can claim the title by winning their three remaining games.

Manuel Pellegrini's team trail leaders Liverpool by three points, but they have a match in hand - at home to struggling Aston Villa - and an eight-goal advantage in terms of goal difference.

Liverpool had been on a run of 11 straight wins prior to facing Chelsea, but the visitors' spoiling tactics successfully prevented the hosts from building momentum, quietening the Anfield crowd.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, who previously worked beneath Mourinho at Chelsea, expressed frustration at his old mentor's tactics, describing them as "defensive" and "not difficult to coach".

The home side laboured in front of goal, however, with Chelsea's stand-in goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer only called upon to make two saves of note, and Mourinho boasted that his side had kept Liverpool at bay with ease.

"Defensive display? I am a bit confused what the media thinks about defensive displays," said Mourinho.

"When a team defends well, you call it a defensive display. When a team defends badly and concedes two or three goals, you don't consider it a defensive display.

"When Liverpool start putting long balls in the area for Mark and (Gary) Cahill and (Branislav) Ivanovic, they were like fish in water, (because it was) so easy for them.

"The team played brilliantly. Every player was magnificent. No mistakes. I think it was a fantastic performance by my players."

Although Chelsea are now only two points from the summit with two games to play, Mourinho declared that they have "no chance" of pipping Liverpool and City to the title.

ATLETICO NEXT

His immediate focus will now be on the Champions League semi-final second leg at home to Atletico Madrid on Thursday morning (Singapore time). The first leg ended 0-0.

Chelsea will be without injured goalkeeper Petr Cech, but Mourinho said captain John Terry has a chance of playing despite hobbling out of the first leg with a foot injury.

Eden Hazard could also feature after returning to training following 
a calf problem.

Striker Samuel Eto'o is a doubt with a knee problem, while midfielders Jon Mikel Obi and Frank Lampard - both of whom played the full 90 minutes at Anfield - are suspended. - AFP.