Call Jose ugly, he couldn't care less

Call Jose ugly, he couldn't care less
Liverpool v Chelsea - Barclays Premier League
Liverpool's Steven Gerrard (C) and Jon Flanagan try to get the ball off Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.

SINGAPORE - Jose Mourinho's haggard appearance summed up his Chelsea side. He was weak, scruffy and unshaven and looked as if he'd spent the previous night sleeping under Stamford Bridge.

He wasn't beautiful, but he was the best man on show. For the Portuguese pragmatist, that's really all that matters.

At Anfield, he showed once again that he's not a dedicated follower of fickle football fashions, but an ardent admirer of the game's annals. Beauty is skin-deep, but trophies stir the soul.

In the opposing dugout, Brendan Rodgers was characteristically resplendent in sharp suit with matching club crest and tie. But Mourinho demonstrated that his old apprentice had borrowed the Emperor's New Clothes for the big occasion.

Rodgers was all dressed up, but his Liverpool side had nowhere to go.

For all their attacking artistry this season, the Reds' famed forward line chipped away at Chelsea's protective walls like Tim Robbins' prisoner using stolen cutlery to escape his cell in The Shawshank Redemption.

But Robbins had years to break free from prison. Liverpool had only 90 minutes and proved to be prisoners of their manager's rhetoric.

Before and after the contest, Rodgers reiterated his attacking philosophy and his steadfast refusal to replicate Mourinho's spoiling tactics to stifle opponents and snatch three points on the counter-attack.

Such principles are undoubtedly laudable. Liverpool still lead the way playing a breathtaking brand of quick, penetrative, overlapping football which has won them many friends.

But Chelsea won the three points.

Despite being woolly-headed with flu, Mourinho's thinking was typically clear.

If he wanted friends, he'd spend more time on Facebook. Instead, he devoted all his depleted energy on stopping the league's most rampant goal-scorers, again.

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