Chelsea boss hails Liverpool as title contenders

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Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho says it is Brendan Rodgers' ambition to win the title with Liverpool - and that he is not surprised to see the Merseyside club in the title race this term.

Liverpool have enjoyed a superb start to the 2013/14 campaign, and are just five points off league leaders Manchester City with a game in hand.

However they face a tough task if they are to make up ground on the Citizens when they travel to Stamford Bridge to face fellow title hopefuls Chelsea this afternoon.

Rodgers worked under Mourinho during his first spell in charge at Chelsea, before leaving to become Liverpool boss after spells at Watford, Reading and Swansea.

The 'Special One' says it is no surprise that Rodgers has elevated Liverpool into the top four in just his second season at the club, and says that now his protege is at a 'top' club, his goal is to start winning silverware.

He told reporters: "We speak about basic things, 'Good luck', 'Well done', 'How's family?', 'Happy Christmas'.

"He was always a very open guy, open to learn, open to give his opinion, very interested in the game. We like him very much, me and my staff, we liked him very much since he started working with us.

"He's at one of the top clubs in England, one of the top clubs in the world. His ambitions now are to win titles at a big club."

Chelsea and Liverpool have shared a fierce rivalry in recent years, going back to their Champions League clashes during Mourinho's first spell at Stamford Bridge.

Despite the prospect of a lively atmosphere in west London this afternoon, Mourinho insists he has nothing but respect for Rodgers and Liverpool.

"You only have rivalries with big clubs, you don't have rivalries with small clubs, and Liverpool is a big club," he explained.

"They were fighting with us for titles, for Champions League semi-finals, for cup finals, so it's normal.

"But at the same time I'm full of respect for Liverpool as a club, for Liverpool's history. I always had that and I haven't changed that because I am at a rival club."

Chelsea sit third in the Premier League but have limped to victories against Crystal Palace and Swansea in recent weeks, and Mourinho is desperate for a stronger performance today.

"For Chelsea to beat Liverpool, we need to score more goals with less chances," he said.

"Normally you don't create against Liverpool five or six or seven big chances. You get two or three and you need to score. We need to score more."

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