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Liverpool and Man City renew hostilities

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By ESPN Staff

Mourinho rules out third bid for Gerrard

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho will not be tempted into an auction for Steven Gerrard for the third summer in succession.

Liverpool skipper Gerrard signed a new contract at Anfield last year but Real Madrid have already named him as a transfer target when the market opens next month.

Mourinho has twice been close to luring the England midfielder to Chelsea but twice the big-money deal collapsed at the last minute.

Asked whether he might be drawn into joining Real in the bidding and making a third move for Gerrard, Mourinho said: 'No, no.

'We have moved on, and I'm not 100% sure but we are probably going to be champions again.'

Chelsea meet Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-final at Old Trafford today, the 10th time the clubs have met in the last two seasons.

Mourinho admits Rafael Benitez has made progress at Anfield this season but claims the Merseysiders play defensive football.

The Blues manager said: 'They are playing well. They are getting results. They defend very well, they don't concede a lot of goals.

'They have their style of play, you can love it or hate it but they have their style and they believe in it. The results are helping them believe in it.

'You have to score when you have chances because against Liverpool you do not have a lot of chances.

'They think a lot about defending. And you have to adapt defensively to the way they play.'

Benitez won the Champions League in his first season at Anfield but Mourinho claimed the big prize is the Premiership title.

Chelsea need one more point to clinch the prize for the second year on the trot and have their sights on the double.

The FA Cup is Liverpool's last chance of a major trophy this season.

Mourinho said: 'When you are at a big club, you are first or you are nothing because nothing else matters.

'If you are champions you succeed, if you are not you don't.

'In every country there are always three or four clubs fighting for the title and only one can win.

'Go to Italy and ask if Milan are happy with second place or go to Spain and ask if Real Madrid are happy with second place or go to Portugal and ask if Benfica are happy with second place. Nobody is.

'At a big club it's win or win.

'For our season to be successful I have to win the Premiership. After that it's better if I can win other things.'