José Mourinho’s winning mentality provides Chelsea platform to progress

Potent counterattacking and stoic rearguard gave Chelsea the lead and limited the second-half damage against Brendan Rodgers’ threatening Liverpool side
• Capital One Cup semi-final first leg match report: Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea
• Andy Hunter: Rodgers gets Liverpool to close the gap
• As it happened: read Barry Glendenning’s MBM report

Liverpool won the singing contest, though that much was expected. They also gave Chelsea a fright, which was not. José Mourinho’s organised and industrious side, winners in the league match on this ground his season, appeared on course for another economical victory until Liverpool’s sheer spirit pegged them back. You could tell by the way Chelsea reacted to Raheem Sterling’s second-half equaliser that Chelsea knew they had been coasting for the previous half hour. Suddenly they had to attack with new vigour, trying to reclaim their advantage. It is possible, just possible, that Brendan Rodgers was trying to sow the seeds of complacency when he spoke of Chelsea’s greater experience beforehand.

Mind-games merchant or not, Rodgers certainly flew in the face of Anfield tradition when he acknowledged that Chelsea are the more experienced trophy gatherers these days. Liverpool supporters still like to bring up the subject of history when the two teams meet, meaning that Chelsea do not have any, though that is not quite as accurate a barb as it used to be and Rodgers was also honest enough to admit that he cannot count his own tenure a complete success until some fresh silverware ends up at the club.

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