Liverpool beat Chelsea 2-0

Chelsea's makeshift defense failed against Liverpool on Saturday and coach Jose Mourinho wasn't surprised.

updated: March 22, 2007 06:37 IST
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Chelsea's makeshift defense failed against Liverpool on Saturday and coach Jose Mourinho wasn't surprised. "At the end of December, I gave my opinions as always," Mourinho said. "I said, in my opinion, we need two players. We need a central defender and an attacking player. "I'm never allowed to do what I want to do. I'm the manager, not the owner. I'm just the manager. I give my opinions to the club and the club try to give me what is good for the team." Â Mourinho has yet to acquire anyone to replace the injured John Terry, meaning he had to play right-back Paulo Ferreira and midfielder Michael Essien in central defense on Saturday. The other regular pick, Ricardo Carvalho, was missing because of illness. The result was a 2-0 defeat at Anfield littered with defensive errors. Weak defense Liverpool striker Kuyt headed a flick on from Peter Crouch past the faltering Ferreira inside the area and shot past goalkeeper Petr Cech in the fourth minute. "The first goal was obviously a big defensive mistake from people not adapted to play in that position," Mourinho said. Jermaine Pennant then made it 2-0 when Essien headed a cross from Gerrard straight to the winger, who chested the ball down and volleyed over Cech from outside the area. Chelsea sold defenders William Gallas and Robert Huth in the off-season, leaving it without cover in central defense. It reportedly bid for Bolton defender Tal Ben Haim this month but the transfer collapsed when Chelsea refused to meet the asking price. Now, the champion is six points behind leader Manchester United, which has played one game fewer. The gap could be nine points on Sunday if United wins at fourth-place Arsenal. Third-place Liverpool closed to within five points of Chelsea after coach Rafa Benitez fielded a tall, strong strike force of Peter Crouch and Kuyt that unsettled the makeshift visiting defense. "Rafa is not stupid and I'm not a magician," Mourinho said. "We couldn't cope with Crouch, who is too tall, and Kuyt, who is too strong." Both coaches were taking charge of their 100th Premier League games, but it was Mourinho who was left with most problems. The team has an 11-day gap before its next game against mid-table Blackburn.