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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 19, 2007

Mourinho claims 'Chelsea are a naive team'

The simmering feud between Chelsea and Liverpool erupted on the pitch with nine bookings, and off it with more controversy between Jose Mourinho and Rafael Benitez. Confronted with questioning over his team's alleged gamesmanship and constant questioning of referee Rob Styles' decisions during a 1-1 draw at Anfield, Chelsea boss Mourinho claimed: 'We are a naive and pure team. 'I have a naive team, they are naive because we do not have divers, we do not have violent people we do not have nasty tackles. We do not have people diving into swimming pools, Chelsea is a naive team. It is a pure team, that is my opinion.' On hearing the Portuguese coach's version of affairs, Liverpool chief Benitez could not stop himself hitting back. He said: 'I will not name people, but you can check their team and see how many times they do things that he (Mourinho) says that they do not do. 'I don't want to give names but I remember a lot of situations in the last three years, and today you could see the players talking all the time at the referee.' Benitez was furious with the penalty decision that gave Frank Lampard a spot-kick equaliser after Florent Malouda had gone down under a challenge from Steve Finnan. Benitez, whose £20million new signing Fernando Torres scored his first goal for the club in the first half, said: 'What penalty? It was the invisible penalty. There were 45,000 people who could see it and know it wasn't, Jose says he could not see it. 'I want to have a lot of respect for referees, but sometimes I cannot understand why they give some decisions, that decision is impossible to explain. 'We had chances to win and we have two less points, we must now be positive. It is too early to say who are contenders, but we always show when we play Chelsea that we can be there, so now we have to be consistent against the rest of the teams for nine months.' Mourinho's view on the crucial penalty was: 'I have not really seen the penalty properly, only from 30 metres away on the sidelines. 'In the box there is no advantage law, if the referee sees a foul he gives a penalty. So when Malouda is kicked from behind as he lets to ball run to Drogba, then it is a penalty. 'It is to be discussed by commentators, just like they discussed the goal we lost the Champions League semi-final here by two years ago. 'As for the title race, it is too early to judge opponents. Manchester United have two points after their defeat today, but even if they had zero points I would say that they are serious contenders for the title, these things do not influence me.' The penalty incident set the tone for the rest of a fractious match in which Styles almost lost control. In the latter stages he appeared to book Michael Essien for a second time without sending off the Ghanaian only for the fourth official reveal the booking had been issued to John Terry. On his side's performance, Mourinho added: 'We came to win the game. Maybe people feel we would have come with a packed midfield and try to go home with a point. We picked an attacking side and tried to win for 85 minutes. 'I accept that when they had Peter Crouch, Dirk Kuyt, Ryan Babel and Fernando Torres together at the end, and I have a giant (Alex) on my bench then I send that giant in and tell him `it is your time.' I tried to close the door then and go home with a point, and it is two points Liverpool do not get. 'I knew then that Arsenal had drawn and Manchester United lost, so then I feel the point won is justified.'

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