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Liverpool In Tough Test At Chelsea

posted 27 Dec 2013, 11:57 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 27 Dec 2013, 11:57 ]

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers praises his mentor Jose Mourinho as he prepares for another tough away task against Chelsea.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (DECEMBER 27, 2013) (ITN) -  Liverpool hope to bounce back from their 2-1 defeat to Manchester City when they travel on Sunday (December 29) to Chelsea who scored a nervy 1-0 win overSwansea City at Stamford Bridge.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was angry with the officials after defeat to City at the Etihad and he could be in trouble with the FA for criticising the appointment of refereeLee Mason.

Mason lives in Bolton, near Manchester and Rodgers said he "was surprised" Liverpoolplayed "in Manchester with a referee from Greater Manchester."

Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling was denied a goal in the first half by a wrong decision to rule him offside.

"So I think they know that when I came out and make a statement like I did yesterday was obviously emotional after the game," Rodgers told reporters on Friday (December 27) as he waits for the match report.

"There was obviously something that I will speak on and honestly on so as I said, whatever action they will take, they will decide so that is my feeling."

The season reaches the halfway mark this weekend with Arsenal top with 39 points from 18 games, with eight teams still harbouring hopes of either a push for the title or the top four.

Manchester City are just a point behind the Gunners on 38, followed by Chelsea (37),Liverpool (36), Everton (34), Newcastle (33), Manchester United (31) and Tottenham Hotspur (31).

Only a point separate third place Chelsea from Liverpool who are fourth in the standings. Despite all rivalry between both clubs, Rodgers could not ignore how much influence opposing manager Jose Mourinho had in his career as the Liverpool boss remembered his early days when he joined the Portuguese after Mourinho took over at the London club, nine years ago.

"I probably would not be sat here today if it wasn't for him. He played a huge part and I think first of all the emotion when I speak in here but Jose is first and foremost is a friend," Rodgers said about Mourinho.

"We, for the first time I met him, one evening in September in 2004, he obviously came to the club earlier on that summer and when I was invited to go there and speak with him and one or two others about their role at Chlesea, we headed off straight away and from that moment in time he gave me the self-esteem and the confidence that has prepared me greatly for the role I had to do," he added.

Rodgers showed sympathy to fellow manager Malky Mackay, who was sacked by Cardiff City seven months after winning promotion to the Premier League.

"Yes, of course it is a sad day for him but it is something he probably felt was on the cards anyway so I think it is best for him that there is closure on that," Rodgers said.

"You know, certainly he is a guy who gave that club so much. He will go down in history as the manager who has taken them to the Barclays Premier League and at that this moment and time, the greatest manager in their history."

"So, he will move on, he is going to be an outstanding manager at the top level for many years, Malky, and I said, he will recover and comeback fighting and sure that he is the great manager that he is."

The season reaches the halfway mark this weekend with Arsenal top with 39 points from 18 games, with eight teams still harbouring hopes of either a push for the title or the top four.

Exactly a year to the day since losing 7-3 at Arsenal, resurgent Newcastle United can move into the top four of the Premier League if they exact revenge for that painful defeat at St James' Park on Sunday (December 29).


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