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Arsenal have changed since Villa debacle

Arsenal
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By ESPN Staff

Benitez unmoved by Mourinho exit

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez kept his feud with Jose Mourinho going to the last today by declining to offer any compliments about the former Chelsea boss' time at Stamford Bridge.

The Liverpool boss and the Portugese coach had made little secret of their animosity over the last few years, heightened by run-ins over Champions League semi-finals and Benitez's frequent comments that it was Roman Abramovich's billions that bought back-to-back Premier League titles for the west Londoners.

Even though Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger of the 'big four' have offered their sympathies for his departure, all Benitez would say was: 'You know my relationship with him, it is better that I do not say anything.

'At the moment I am more worried about Birmingham boss Steve Bruce.'

Liverpool face the midlanders at Anfield tomorrow.

Even in recent weeks the friction between the pair has surfaced. Benitez was known to be disappointed when his former assistant Paco Ayestaran was 'too friendly' with Mourinho after the clubs drew 1-1 at Anfield earlier this season.

That incident is believed to have been one of the reasons for the tensions between Benitez and Ayestaran coming to a head, with the latter having now left the club.

Benitez said: 'It is not a good idea for a manager to talk about other clubs in this situation.

'I would prefer not to say anything. What is clear is that Chelsea still have a good team with a lot of very good players.'

He added: 'The best thing for Liverpool is to continue to focus on what we are doing and to continue to improve ourselves and play well. Not to think about what is happening anywhere else.

'That would be dangerous, I am more interested in Liverpool, not with any problems at other clubs.'