The highs and lows of Jose Mourinho's 15-year rivalry with Liverpool

Steven Gerrard’s infamous slip, shushing the fans and, of course, the ghost goal… Jose Mourinho takes his high-flying Tottenham team to Anfield on Wednesday with a VERY long and controversial history against Liverpool

  • Jose Mourinho has built up a rivalry with Liverpool that stretches back 15 years
  • Mourinho visits the Reds with his table-topping Tottenham side on Wednesday
  • Clashes with Liverpool have proven controversial and memorable over the years
  • Sportsmail looks at Mourinho’s dizzying highs and dramatic lows versus the Reds

The mind games have already started from Jose Mourinho as he takes his Tottenham Hotspur side to Liverpool on Wednesday claiming his injury hit rivals have ‘just one big concern’.

For the Spurs boss, it’s a welcome return to his element at the pinnacle of the Premier League as he hopes his table-topping Spurs side can inflict Liverpool’s first home loss in the top flight for over three years. 

Heading into the game, he played down the Reds’ current squad issues which sees their regular centre back pairing Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez ruled out along with Diogo Jota, while Joel Matip is also a doubt.

Jose Mourinho takes his Tottenham Hotspur team to long-time rivals Liverpool on Wednesday

Mourinho will once again go head to head with Reds boss Jurgen Klopp at Anfield

The Portuguese insists only Van Dijk is the major Liverpool injury after reeling off a list of uninjured Reds stars he thinks will feature.  

It’s the usual fun and games from Mourinho who is relishing the chance to lock horns again with Liverpool, who he has built up a long rivalry going back 15 years. Sportsmail looks at five memorable clashes between them as the Spurs boss aims to dethrone the champions this term.

Liverpool 2-3 CHELSEA (AET) – League Cup final, 2005 

Mourinho’s first cup final in English football got off to a miserable start with his Blues side a goal down after just 45 seconds at the Millennium Stadium following a John Arne Riise strike. But he who laughs last, laughs loudest.

Chelsea eventually found an equaliser just 10 minutes from the end after Steven Gerrard nodded into his own net, leading to celebration from the Chelsea players and their manager going into ‘Operation: Wind up Reds supporters’.


After Chelsea’s equaliser in the 2005 League Cup final, Mourinho shushed irate Liverpool fans

Mourinho took the most casual yet boasting of strolls down the touchline with his index wagging in front of his lips before the fourth official quickly took him out of the firing line of raging fans who had more than a few choice words to bellow at him. 

The Portuguese’s antics saw him sent to the stands where supporters continued to goad the now pantomime villain.

But Liverpool were powerless to prevent further goals from Dider Drogba and Mateja Kezman, despite an Antonio Nunez consolation, as Mourinho landed his first trophy in English football. 

The League Cup was Mourinho’s first trophy in English football as he celebrates after the game

Liverpool 1-0 CHELSEA (AGG 1-0) – Champions League semi-final, 2005

Even to the present, this game still irks Mourinho whose all conquering Chelsea side were in good shape to book a first ever Champions League final place.

They were favourites ahead of a Reds side who were struggling to even reach the top four. Outside of European competition they had lost all three encounters that term to the Blues including the League Cup final. 

Like the final, they scored early through Luis Garcia’s fourth minute opener and it proved to be one of the most infamous moments in the Champions League’s history.

Luis Garcia celebrates after scoring Liverpool’s ‘ghost goal’ against Chelsea in 2005

Garcia pounced on a rebound to steer the ball towards goal but despite William Gallas appearing to hack the ball away the goal was given.

Unlike at Wembley, this time there would be no way back for Mourinho’s men and he would never get as close to leading Chelsea to Champions League glory again.

When asked recently by Portuguese media about his worst moment in football, Mourinho still looks back to that night at Anfield, saying: ‘It was against Liverpool with a goal that today the VAR would not have conceded.’ 

Mourinho consoles his Blues captain John Terry after the goal ensured they were eliminated from the 2005 Champions League at the semi-final stage

Liverpool 1-4 CHELSEA – Premier League, 2005

Clearly, it was not just Mourinho who was feeling the pain after the semi-final defeat as an October clash at the start of the 2005-06 season saw the Blues soon gain a measure of revenge.

Mourinho’s side were the Premier League holders and they showed why as they put on a clinic against Rafael Benitez’s Champions League winners to enforce their biggest Anfield defeat in the history of the Premier League.

The Blues opened the scoring through Frank Lampard, with Steven Gerrard equalising and Damien Duff restoring the lead shortly before half-time.

Chelsea’s Frank Lampard celebrates scoring in their 4-1 win at Liverpool in October 2005, a result that condemned the Reds to their heaviest Premier League loss at Anfield

Joe Cole and Geremi added in the second half to allow Chelsea to pick up their eighth consecutive win to start the season before they would go on to defend the title.

Still a victory wouldn’t of this magnitude wouldn’t be the same without a post-match Mourinho moan, who decided to use the occasion to hit back at his critics who branded his football boring (some things never change).

He reflected: ‘We’re not the perfect team and I’m not saying we are the best team in the world, but I think we deserve a little bit more respect.’

Liverpool 0-2 CHELSEA – Premier League 2014

For a long time, the 2013-14 Premier League title battle looked to be a three-horse race between Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea… or a two-horse race and a blue pony if you asked Mourinho.

The Blues turned up at Anfield with three games to spare knowing they realistically had to win to have any chance of lifting the title and that their championship hopes were out of their hands. The Reds meanwhile were a net three points clear of the top taking into account City’s game in hand. 

Brendan Rodgers’ side went into the game as favourites having won their previous 11 league games and a clash with Mourinho’s Chelsea was seen as the last significant hurdle to overcome to gallop to Liverpool’s first ever Premier League title.

Steven Gerrard’s infamous slip led to Demba Ba opening the scoring in Chelsea’s famous 2-0 win at Liverpool in May 2014

Gerrard ties to wrestle the ball off Mourinho as Liverpool desperately chased an equaliser

An otherwise tepid game dominated by Liverpool came to life on the stroke of half-time when one of the Premier League’s most replayed moments saw Reds skipper Steven Gerrard slip while trying to control a pass, allowing Demba Ba to run in on goal to slot home.

Mourinho parked the bus in the second half, with his side seeing just 27 per cent of the ball and even the Portuguese was up to his gamesmanship tricks when he would prevent Liverpool from taking a throw in by shielding the ball away from an impatient Gerrard.

A goal did eventually come… from Chelsea who on the counter attack in the last minute made the points safe with a Willian tap-in.

Mourinho’s chest beating celebrations in front of the travelling fans at the final whistle were that of a man who had not only executed a perfect plan to keep his side in the title race but of one who had scored one over an old rival. 

The game was the turning point in the title race, with City taking full advantage to be crowned champions on the final day of the season

Chelsea’s coaching staff celebrate with Mourinho during the clash at Anfield

The then Chelsea boss celebrated at full-time by thumping his chest towards Blues fans

Liverpool 3-1 MANCHESTER UNITED – Premier League, 2018 

The final page of Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United tenure. While Liverpool had enjoyed a stunning unbeaten start to the season which left them top with 13 wins from 16 games, United were down in sixth and 11 points adrift of a Chelsea side holding the final Champions League spot.

With reports of Mourinho having fallen out with many of his first-team regulars, the pressure was on the Portuguese and the last match his struggling United side needed was a trip to the club’s bitter rivals who were in no mood to give up a winning habit.

In the drizzling cold rain, the hosts expectedly took the lead through Sadio Mane, only for Jesse Lingard to equalise around the half-hour mark.

Jose Mourinho’s final match as Manchester United manager saw his side lose 3-1 at Liverpool

United toiled defensively for most of the game and the pressure eventually became too much when Xherdan Shaqiri helped Liverpool retake the lead in the 73rd minute before the Swiss star scored again seven minutes later.

Sat beside assistant Michael Carrick on the bench, Mourinho seemed lost what to do with his side who at no point ever looked like winning the game.

Although Mourinho boasted after the game his side ‘could still finish fourth’ he wouldn’t get the chance to prove his words as he was sacked two days later, with United on 26 points – their worst total after 17 games since 1990.

Mourinho was sacked by the Red Devils just two days after the humbling defeat at Anfield




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