Magic Mourinho: Chelsea is not back in Title Race... Regardless of beating Liverpool
Jose Mourinho insists Chelsea are not back in the title race despite beating Premier League leaders Liverpool 2-0 at Anfield.
The result ended Liverpool's 11-match winning run and brought Chelsea back to within two points of their hosts.
Manchester City are the other team in contention, and Mourinho is adamant it is a race between those two.
He told Sky Sports: “We're back in nothing. At this moment we are almost third. With Everton's defeat [on Saturday] we were automatically qualified for the Champions League.
“Now with these three points we need one point to finish third. Champions are only one [team] and the champions will be City or Liverpool.”
It was a defensive masterclass from Chelsea, with Demba Ba capitalising on a slip from Steven Gerrard to give the visitors the lead just before half-time and Willian making sure in stoppage time.
Mourinho shrugged off criticism of his side's tactics, saying: “It was about winning. We deserved to win, no doubt about it. It's as simple as this.
“With the result at 1-0 for 45 minutes, we were always comfortable. We were never in trouble against a team that is a fantastic team, a team that has beautiful players and scores a lot of goals and smashes every team that comes here.
“Now we can say we won both matches against the champions. If the champion is Liverpool, we won both matches against Liverpool; if the champion is Man City, we won both matches against Man City.”
The build-up had been dominated by speculation about Chelsea's team, with Mourinho saying he would rest players ahead of their Champions League semifinal second leg against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.
There were plenty of big names missing, while 20-year-old Czech defender Tomas Kalas started the match.
“We played a good side,” Mourinho said. “Many people would be expecting us to come here and lose three, four or 5-0 like many others did. When people know our focus was on Wednesday, probably many people think it's impossible to get this kind of result.
“Now we have to think about Wednesday, and I would say the game of our lives. To play a Champions League semifinal at Stamford Bridge is something big.”
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers was clearly frustrated by Chelsea's defensive focus.
He said on Sky Sports: “Congratulations to Chelsea, they won the game. We just couldn't find the breakthrough. They obviously sat very deep.
“I think there were two buses parked today, never mind one. It was like a back six with three midfield players in front of that. That's 10, with the goalkeeper, for 90 minutes consistently behind the ball.
“Unless you get that early goal, it doesn't entice them to come out. It was clear that they'd come certainly not wanting to win the game, with the time-wasting and whatnot.
“The players gave everything and we couldn't quite get that wee bit of luck.”
Rodgers was reluctant to praise Mourinho, adding: “I don't think it's a tactic. Anyone can ask a team to just sit back and defend on the edge of the box.
“It's the nature of how Chelsea play. They've got some wonderful players but they play a defensive game and hope to hit you on the counter-attack or with a mistake.
“We were disappointed with the goal, it's just one of those things. There's no blame for Stevie. I said to him he's been a wonderful player for this club and he's a massive part of why we are where we are.”
Should City and Liverpool both win all their remaining games, they will finish level on points and City currently have a superior goal difference.
Rodgers said: “The bigger picture is that we're still two points ahead of a team that has spent an absolute fortune. If we win our two games we'll finish above them and then we'll see what happens with Manchester City.
“We achieved our objective of Champions League football and we just go on to our next game against Crystal Palace. Today's game will probably prepare us for that because of the nature of how Crystal Palace play.”