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Rodgers slams Mourinho’s defensive tactics after loss

Apr 27, 2014, 1:31 PM EDT

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Brendan Rodgers had some sour grapes after the 2-0 loss to Chelsea at Anfield, and much of it had to do with the ultra-defensive strategy Jose Mourinho chose to field.

With the Anfield fixture bookended by Champions League matches – which Mourinho said he believed were the club’s priority – the London club’s manager selected a weakened side to face the Reds.

The lineup did not feature attacking midfielder Oscar, nor did it have the injured Eden Hazard, and Rodgers could see the difference.

“It was 10 players behind from the first minute [by Chelsea], and we found it difficult to break down,” Rodgers said of Chelsea’s strategy. “There were probably two buses parked today, never mind one.”

When a reporter asked if he could build a team and play that way, he said with a chuckle, “What do you think?”

Finally, Rodgers said he doesn’t believe a fully defensive outlook will allow Chelsea to win trophies, and not just in the Premier League.

“[To win matches] you need combination play. Not just vs Atletico, it’s every game. If it gets results, great, but it’s totally opposite of how we work. Over time our mentality and aggression will get us results. It’s not difficult to coach to get 10 men inside the 18-yard box.”

The Liverpool manager was also not happy about how slow Chelsea played.  “It was disappointing they didn’t get booked for time wasting until the 92nd minute,” Rodgers remarked. “Everyone could see it from the first whistle.”

It was a pretty obvious tactic by Mourinho to slow the game down, most notably when John Obi Mikel walked off the pitch after receiving treatment, and he made three stops to turn around and have a word with referee Howard Webb, much to the anger of the Anfield crowd.

Rodgers was the head youth coach under Jose Mourinho’s first stint at Chelsea, and the game was billed as a “master vs apprentice” matchup. However, the two did not shake hands after the match, and when asked if he had seen or spoken to Mourinho after the final whistle, Rodgers said bluntly, “I haven’t seen Jose yet.”

Finally, Rodgers finished up his presser giving credit to Mourinho but not agreeing with the way of playing. “Jose’s happy with that. It’s not my way of working. They defended well – we tried everything we could.”

  1. egb234 - Apr 27, 2014 at 2:35 PM

    I really like Rodgers, and I think he’s allowed some sour grapes, but it’s kind of funny to think of him explaining what will or won’t win trophies, especially with regards to a Mourinho team. Love him or hate him, Mourinho knows a thing or two about winning.

  2. rynsprks - Apr 27, 2014 at 2:35 PM

    Seriously, why didn’t CFC just let LFC score?

  3. medic0nduty - Apr 27, 2014 at 4:17 PM

    It’s only weird or bad if it doesn’t work.

  4. navyeoddavee9 - Apr 27, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    Chelsea did not put a full strength team on the pitch, held Liverpool scoreless and won 2-0 at Anfield, whatever you want to call the tactics, the object is to win. Rogers needs to stop whining.

  5. jasjbb - Apr 27, 2014 at 9:26 PM

    Shut up, Rodgers. You sound bitter. Jose’s gameplan got the best of you. Admit it, and take it like a man. That is, IF you’re a man.

  6. chunkala - Apr 28, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    All Liverpool needed was a tie. Why was it so important to go for the win?
    He may have screwed his team out of the title, but there’s still a few weeks to go.

  7. navyeoddavee9 - Apr 28, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    Odds are, if u go for a draw, you will end up losing, got to go for the win

    • chunkala - Apr 29, 2014 at 9:42 AM

      In other sports sure, but definitely not in soccer. In EPL, there is a 54% chance that 1 team will not score.
      Chelsea Put out an absolutely defensive team without many playmakers. Hazard didn’t play.
      They bunkered in for a tie, take what team gives you.

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