Steven Gerrard slip cost Liverpool Premier League title last season: Jose Mourinho
Steven Gerrard`s untimely slip against Chelsea last season cost his club the Premier League title, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho claimed on Friday ahead of Saturday`s reunion between the teams.
London: Steven Gerrard`s untimely slip against Chelsea last season cost his club the Premier League title, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho claimed on Friday ahead of Saturday`s reunion between the teams.
Liverpool had control of the title race prior to Chelsea`s visit to Anfield in April, but Gerrard`s slip allowed Demba Ba to send the visitors on their way to a 2-0 victory.
Liverpool`s defeat enabled Manchester City to sweep past them over the final weeks of the campaign and Mourinho believes Chelsea`s return to Anfield will therefore prove particularly painful for the home fans.
Asked for his thoughts on Gerrard`s slip, Mourinho told his weekly press conference: "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."
Brazil-born striker Diego Costa was omitted from the Spain squad on Friday as he continues to be dogged by hamstring problems, but Mourinho confirmed that he would start against Brendan Rodgers`s Liverpool.
"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 also said that he had had no influence on Spain coach Vicente del Bosque`s decision not to call up the former Atletico Madrid forward for games against Belarus and world champions Germany.
"I want to make it very, very clear that I did nothing for that to happen," said the Portuguese.
"It`s very good news for him, for us and also for the national team. Now he has to go in the right direction. It`s good for Spain to have a good Diego and not a so-so Diego."
Mourinho will also have Loic Remy at his disposal after the French striker returned to training following a thigh problem.