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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr, 26, 2008

Riise own-goal poetic justice for Mourinho

Jose Mourinho has described John Arne Riise's own goal for Liverpool against Chelsea in the Champions League semi-final as poetic justice in action - but he insists the outcome of the tie is still 50-50.

Riise's 95th-minute howler in Tuesday night's first leg at Anfield handed the Blues a 1-1 draw, with many observers now making them favourites to reach next month's final.

Mourinho, who was Chelsea boss for more than three years until September, lost two Champions League semi-finals at Anfield and is still bitter about the first of them in 2005.

Liverpool won 1-0 on aggregate that day thanks to a Luis Garcia strike in front of the Kop which Mourinho dubbed 'a ghost goal' because the ball did not cross the line.

The Portuguese, set to return to management this summer after taking a sabbatical following his departure from Stamford Bridge, said of the 2005 semi-final: 'I don't remember only the good moments. I also remember the bad ones, and that semi-final, which was 1-0 with a ghost goal was a bad moment.

'At this moment, I can laugh about it.'

Of Riise's calamity in front of Kop end, he added: 'It was in exactly the same goal, the same goal with that incredible - I love it - good crowd Liverpool has in the Kop.

'I think it's fair. They were lucky that time (in 2005), Liverpool, and Chelsea were lucky this time.'

Mourinho believes a 1-0 defeat for Chelsea would have left Liverpool holding all the aces, but he warned his former club not to assume a 1-1 draw puts them in the driving seat.

'It's a completely different result, 1-0 or 1-1,' he said.

'I'm not a man of percentages but I think it's still 50-50.

'I don't think it's a big advantage. Big clubs, big teams, big players, with their hearts and their emotions ready to play this kind of match, it's not a, big, big difference.'

On his own future, Mourinho reiterated his desire for his next job to be in country in which he had not previously managed, with Spain or Italy his likely destination.

However, he added that if such options were unavailable to him, he would not reject an immediate return to England.

He said: 'If it has to be, it has to be.'

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