Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Mourinho's Hurt Lads Just Can't Wait to Put Raging Rafa in His Place; Brush-Off: Rafael Benitez and Jose Mourinho Are Now Fierce Rivals

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Mourinho's Hurt Lads Just Can't Wait to Put Raging Rafa in His Place; Brush-Off: Rafael Benitez and Jose Mourinho Are Now Fierce Rivals

Article excerpt

Byline: SCOTT MINTO

HISTORICALLY, Tottenham and Leeds have always been Chelsea's biggestrivals. Whenever the Blues play these two teams, they know they're not justplaying for three points but also for the bragging rights of the fansalthough the Chelsea faithful have not had to worry about three points againstLeeds for a few years and won't for a few more.

But this Sunday will see Chelsea take on the team that have eclipsed both thosesides to be their fiercest rivals in the modern game.

Since the arrivals of Jose Mourinho and Rafael Benitez, Chelsea versusLiverpool has become the fixture Blues fans, players and management aredesperate to win and look for first.

Chelsea have been on top in the Premier League encounters whereas Liverpoolseem to know how to get the required result in European competition.

Ever since the 'goal that wasn't' from Luis Garcia in the Champions Leaguesemi-final in 2005, the two managers have gone out of their way to wind eachother up and that has filtered down to the players.

I know when Liverpool got a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge in the samecompetition at the group stages the following season, and then bragged abouthow they know to play the Blues, the Chelsea lads were riled.

Of course, Chelsea gave the best possible response in the next meeting atAnfield just four days later, with an emphatic 4-1 win and Didier Drogbacausing havoc on that occasion.

Even Frank Lampard, someone who normally does his talking on the pitch, feltthe need to come out after the game and say how much the lads wanted to shutLiverpool up.

This ill feeling has only developed in the last few years. When I was at theBridge, the Liverpool games were more of a challenge than fierce rivalry.Wanting to stop players such as John Barnes, Steve McManaman, Robbie Fowler andJamie Redknapp was because of professional pride rather than of any animosity. …

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