Chelsea held on for a draw in the first leg of their semifinal clash against Liverpool and will now fancy their chances in the return leg.
The Merseysiders dominated the game but could not take their chances and will now have to score at Stamford Bridge if they are to progress to the final. Eden Hazard’s penalty gave Chelsea the lead in the first half, but a brilliant Raheem Sterling goal pegged them back in the second half.
Mourinho told Sky Sports, a We played to the top of our potential and so did Liverpool, it was a proper semi-final. I think it was a fair result. Liverpool did not deserve to win this game, but we were in control. The way they played with three defenders we had a lot of space to counter-attack, but we were not very efficient in our passing.
a We had plenty of half-chances with the space we had, but with more quality we would have scored more goals.a
Mourinho said that he relishes big cup games like these especially when they play at a stadium such as Anfield, a It is so difficult to play here, but I love it.
a Some people say that the League Cup is a secondary competition, but for big clubs like Liverpool and Chelsea in the semi-final it’s not.
a I am not saying we are favourites, but Liverpool have to come and win at Stamford Bridge now.a
Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was restored to the starting lineup and made some key saves to keep his side level. Mourinho praised his number one keeper, “The Premier League is full of top goalkeepers but we have the two best, so for me it was easy. To have both playing well and giving so much confidence to the team is good. I decide according to the profile of the game we are expecting. Ita s fantastic for us to have these two goalkeepers. I think the three best keepers in the world are Petr, Courtois and Neuer.
“Ita s fantastic the way big clubs like Chelsea and Liverpool treat this competition. In my clubs, I dona t accept the philosophy of one competition being more important than another. This is the most important, tomorrow the FA Cup becomes the most important. It was a proper semi-final, big prestige for the competition. We made a couple of changes but we tried to reach the final and in the next game we will do the same.
“Every Chelsea fan enjoys Wembley and we are one victory away from being there. I hope and I know they would like that. The last two League Cups Chelsea played were at Cardiff, Wembley is different.”
The two sides will face each other again on January 27th in the return leg of the Capital One Cup.