Rodgers accuses Chelsea of being too defensive during Anfield defeat

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers gives his team instructions during the 2-0 defeat by Chelsea.

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Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers accused Chelsea of being ultra defensive after seeing his side go down 2-0 to their title rivals at Anfield.

Demba Ba opened the scoring just before the break after Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard had slipped, allowing the striker to latch onto the ball before nutmegging the advancing Simon Mignolet.

Willian then made sure of the win after a pass from fellow substitute Fernando Torres for a breakaway goal in injury time, with the result seeing Liverpool’s lead at the top cut to just two points.

Manchester City sit three points off the Reds in third position, with a game in hand and a better goal difference as the title race looks set to go right to the wire.

Rodgers told Sky Sports News: "Congratulations to Chelsea, they won the game, we just couldn’t find the breakthrough.

"They obviously sat very deep. I think there were two buses parked today, never mind one.

"We were disappointed with the goal, it’s just one of those things. There’s no blame for Stevie. I said to him he’s been a wonderful player for this club and he’s a massive part of why we are where we are."

"It was like a back six with three midfield players in front of that. That’s 10, with the goalkeeper, for 90 minutes consistently behind the ball.

"Unless you get that early goal, it doesn’t entice them to come out. It was clear that they’d come certainly not wanting to win the game, with the time-wasting and whatnot.

"The players gave everything and we couldn’t quite get that wee bit of luck."

Rodgers was reluctant to praise Mourinho, adding: "I don’t think it’s a tactic. Anyone can ask a team to just sit back and defend on the edge of the box.

"It’s the nature of how Chelsea play. They’ve got some wonderful players but they play a defensive game and hope to hit you on the counter-attack or with a mistake.

"We were disappointed with the goal, it’s just one of those things. There’s no blame for Stevie. I said to him he’s been a wonderful player for this club and he’s a massive part of why we are where we are.

"He has picked up this club so many times and we are in this position because of him. It’s really unfortunate that he slipped at a crucial time, it could have happened to anyone."

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Mourinho had sympathy for Gerrard and said: "Nobody enjoys it when someone makes a big mistake."

Reflecting on Gerrard’s blunder, Neville told Sky Sports News: "Steven is an experienced player but he’ll know that was a big moment, a horrible moment for him.

"But it could happen to anybody. Even a player like Steven Gerrard, who has a career at this type of club, has those moments.

"It was a bad time for him to have it but Liverpool still had time to get back into the game and they didn’t. He’ll feel terrible but he’s got to try and pick himself up; he will because he’s a great professional and he’ll pick his team up this week because they’ve got a big, big task now.

"For the first time this season, they’ll be playing after the rest and that is a big thing. They are playing next week on a Monday night when the other teams could really have applied pressure to that game that they’ve got against Crystal Palace."

Should City and Liverpool both win all their remaining games, they will finish level on points and City currently have a superior goal difference.

Rodgers said: "The bigger picture is that we’re still two points ahead of a team that has spent an absolute fortune. If we win our two games we’ll finish above them and then we’ll see what happens with Manchester City.

"We achieved our objective of Champions League football and we just go on to our next game against Crystal Palace. Today’s game will probably prepare us for that because of the nature of how Crystal Palace play."