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Mourinho delights in goalless home draw
April 28, 2005 09:52 IST
Jose Mourinho said Wednesday's 0-0 home Champions League draw against Liverpool was a great result for his Chelsea side.
The Portuguese coach, who won the title last season with Porto, said he was confident Chelsea would qualify for the final next month in Istanbul.
"I think it's a very good result," Mourinho said, beaming. "It's not the result we fought for. We tried to win the game but in a Champions League semi-final it's a very good result.
"We need to win or draw with goals...I think we can score goals. I'm very confident we can go to the final."
Mourinho said the result mirrored his experience in last year's semi-finals when Porto drew at home and won at Deportivo Coruna.
Chelsea also drew 0-0 at home to Manchester United in their League Cup semi-final in January but won the away leg. Last season they drew their all-English Champions League quarter-final with Arsenal 1-1 at home but won the away leg 2-1.
Mourinho said all the pressure would be on Liverpool at Anfield because most of their fans believed they had already won the tie.
"We need to try to be solid defensively and try to be dangerous in counter-attack," Mourinho added.
The Portuguese, who angered Liverpool fans at the League Cup final in February by making a silencing gesture towards them, said the atmosphere at Anfield would be "beautiful" but would not overawe his players.
"If you are a top player you enjoy to play in fantastic places like that," he said. "Their team will need all their support."
Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard was also upbeat. "It's a decent result for us -- we haven't conceded and we're always confident wherever we go that we can score. We're just disappointed we missed a few chances today," he said.
Lampard missed his team's best opportunity when he shot from close range midway through the first half. "It was a very good chance, I thought 'goal' before it actually hit the back of the net, which is a mistake," he said.
"I feel disappointed because that would have given us a nice lead to take to Anfield."
Liverpool coach Rafael Benitez said: "Before the game if you had said to me 'a draw' I would have said 'yes'," he said. After the game he felt Liverpool could have sneaked a win after controlling the second half.
"But now we know that we need to win and to win at Anfield is always possible," he said.
Like Mourinho, Benitez came fresh to Liverpool from European success after taking Valencia to victory in the UEFA Cup.
"We need to play a good game and at the same time be careful because they can score at any moment," he said.
"With our supporters cheering us we have a lot of confidence."
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard said: "We didn't come here for a draw, ideally we'd have liked to nick a goal to take back to Anfield, but it's a tough place to come.
"Hopefully our fans will take the roof off at Anfield. Nil-nil is a good result here and it could have been worse if Frank had taken his chance. We're happy, but we're taking nothing for granted."
Liverpool, who have won the title four times, will be without Xabi Alonso, recently returned from injury but who received a harsh yellow card on Wednesday for a trip on Eidur Gudjohnsen and is suspended for the second leg.
Mourinho said winger Damien Duff, who failed to make the lineup on Wednesday because of a hamstring strain, should be fit for next week. Arjen Robben, who came on in the 60th minute but looked far from fit, was a doubt, he said.