Tom and Jerry. 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G. Jose Mourinho and the red half of Merseyside. Sometimes, people just simply don’t get along.
Since Mourinho swaggered into the Premier League with Chelsea a decade ago, the rivalry with Liverpool began in earnest. The Special One picked up his first piece of silverware in 2005, beating Liverpool in the League Cup Final and giving the Reds support the ‘sshhhhh’ gesture after captain Steven Gerrard found his own net. Gerrard, at the time, was a high-profile transfer target for Mourinho and his pursuit of the midfielder didn’t sit well with the Kop faithful.
Three months later and Luis Garcia’s ‘Ghost Goal’ in the Champions League semi-final riled Mourinho so much that he still talks about it nine years later. Let it go buddy. Mourinho called Rafa Benitez’s Liverpool a ‘cup team’ in 2007 and claimed he’d be sacked if his record was as bad as Benitez’s. The rivalry died down a touch when Mourinho ventured to pastors new, however he was quick to comment that Brendan Rodgers would never win the league with Liverpool because ‘he can’t work miracles’ in 2012.
Despite attempts to cool the rivalry now ‘best friend’ Rodgers is in the Kop hot-seat, Mourinho is unlikely to be on the Christmas card list for many Liverpool fans ahead of their grudge match this weekend.
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A big hat-tip to the guys in PP Design for another cracking mini-infographic]
The Chelsea manager’s win rate overall against Liverpool isn’t too shabby, winning nine of their 18 matches, including both games last season. His most comprehensive victory was in a league game at Anfield in 2005 when second half goals from Damien Duff, Joe Cole and Geremi gave Chelsea a 4-1 victory after Steven Gerrard had cancelled out Frank Lampard’s opener.
But despite that thumping win, Mourinho’s record at Anfield is a cause for concern. Of the eight games he’s played there, he’s won just three (37.5 per cent) and has picked up just one victory in the last four trips to the red half of Merseyside. It’s a fair old drive down the M6 when you’ve had 90 minutes of abuse from the Kop and failed to pick up three points.
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However Chelsea fans will be buoyed by Mourinho’s record against Liverpool in the league alone. In nine Premier League fixtures he has won seven, drawing one and losing just once – goals from Dirk Kuyt and Jermaine Pennant secured three points for Liverpool in 2007. That’s a 78 per cent win record for the Special One who tasted most of his defeats to Liverpool in the cup competitions.
This Saturday (BT Sport, 12.45pm) Chelsea are the 23/20 favourites to take home three points after Liverpool rested a whole host of big names in the Champions League clash with Real Madrid. While Chelsea appear to be marching towards a Premier League title, Liverpool are 12 points behind the table-toppers in seventh. It’s 12/5 for the home side to taste victory this weekend.
What we shouldn’t expect from the clash is a high-scoring thriller. 72 per cent of those 18 games between Mourinho and Liverpool have featured under 2.5 goals and in just six of the 18 clashes have both teams found the net. Of Mourinho’s seven league victories over Liverpool, his side has kept a clean sheet in five of them and won by exactly one goal in four of them.
A 1-0 win for Chelsea sticks out like a sore thumb at odds of 7/1. Just don’t expect to see any half-and-half scarves on sale outside the ground.
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