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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 April 2007, 08:37 GMT 09:37 UK
Benitez responds to Mourinho jibe
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez (left) and Chelsea counterpart Jose Mourinho
Benitez (left) and Mourinho have a frosty relationship
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has cranked up the war of words with Chelsea counterpart Jose Mourinho ahead of their Champions League semi-final.

Mourinho has already claimed Liverpool will be favourites as they are only challenging for the Champions League.

But Benitez said: "We were good friends until we started winning, then he started changing his mind.

"It's the same with the managers of the top sides. He has good relationships with managers of teams he beats."

He added: "He fights with the managers of the top sides. He has already started it with us, yesterday!"

Chelsea beat Benitez's former side Valencia on Tuesday in dramatic fashion to set up a rematch of the infamous Champions League semi-final of 2005 when Liverpool went on to win the tournament.

Chelsea are a very good team - in the last five years they have spent big money on players

Rafael Benitez

The Reds beat Chelsea courtesy of a goal from Luis Garcia, which the Blues argue did not fully cross the line.

But Mourinho insisted after the win in Valencia that revenge will not be his motive as he aims to steer Chelsea to a historic Quadruple.

"Revenge is not for me in football or life," said Mourinho, whose side will be at home for the first leg on 25 April.

"It is a tie where we know we start from behind and why is simple: Liverpool play only in the Champions League and Chelsea plays in the Champions League, Premiership and FA Cup.

"And we have players suspended and on yellow cards. Liverpool is in a very clean situation so I think they start in front of us."

Luis Garcia scores the goal which proved the winner in Liverpool's Champions League semi-final against Chelsea in 2005
Did it or did it not cross the line? Luis Garcia's goal against Chelsea in the 2005 semi-final

Benitez answered Mourinho's taunts by citing the money that his rival has had available to lavish on his Stamford Bridge squad.

"Always as a manager you must be confident your team can win, and any Liverpool team will always be confident," said the Spaniard.

"But we know Chelsea are a very good team, in the last five years they have spent big money on players and they have a very good squad.

"They will be tough. They have spent money for five years, they are in other semi-finals and chasing trophies, that is what they want and have prepared for.

"Yes we only have one trophy to go for, but they would not want to change what they are doing now."

Zed the Red

Benitez also hopes it will be an advantage to play the second leg at Anfield in a repeat of the semi-final between the pair two years ago.

Benitez said: "They may not accept what happened here two years ago, but they cannot change things now.

"We are pleased we will play the second leg at Anfield. If we can do something at Stamford Bridge, maybe we will then have the advantage.

"They know that. But playing counter-attack like they did in Valencia shows how dangerous they are in away games.

"Chelsea know us and we know them very well."

Liverpool 1-0 PSV (agg 4-0)
11 Apr 07 |  Europe
Valencia 1-2 Chelsea (agg 2-3)
10 Apr 07 |  Europe
Liverpool 1-0 Chelsea
03 May 05 |  Europe


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