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‘If you’re naive, I’m Little Red Riding Hood!’

‘If you’re naive, I’m Little Red Riding Hood!’

Aug 20 2007

by Ian Doyle, Liverpool Daily Post

RAFAEL BENITEZ last night poured scorn on Jose Mourinho’s claims that Chelsea are a “naive” team after an explosive Anfield encounter.

The Liverpool manager was incensed with the decision of Rob Styles to award the penalty that earned the Londoners a point during a tempestuous 1-1 draw.

Benitez also joined skipper Steven Gerrard in expressing his displeasure at the manner in which he believed Chelsea’s players were attempting to intimidate the match officials.

Mourinho, though, insisted the referee had made the right decision by adjudging Steve Finnan to have fouled Florent Malouda in the penalty area.

And the Portuguese then went on to cast aspersions over Liverpool’s own conduct while adamant his team were “naive and pure”.

Such comments were met with short shrift by a bemused Benitez, who said: “If they are naive and pure, then I’m Little Red Riding Hood.

“I won’t say any names, but you can check the team and think how many times they do the things that he says they don’t. I remember a lot of situations in the last three years. And today you could see his players talking to the referee all the time.”

Of the penalty incident, Benitez added: “What penalty? Jose Mourinho said that he couldn’t see the penalty, but that’s normal – 45,000 people couldn’t see it!

“I want to have a lot of respect for the referees but sometimes you cannot understand why they do these kind of things. I don’t think the referee can explain properly why he gave the penalty, because it’s impossible to explain it.

“It was a mistake. How can you make this decision?

“It’s unbelievable.

“It wouldn’t make me feel any better to talk to the referee, and if he sees the video then he’ll know why we are disappointed.”

Mourinho had said: “I haven’t seen the penalty on television, but I saw it on the pitch from 40 metres away. So to me, when Malouda opens his legs to let the ball go through to Drogba he is kicked from behind and I thought that it was a penalty.

“If you (the press) have seen it on television then it’s your job to comment on it, the same way you commented on the goal that we lost here in the Champions League semi-final two years ago.

“I have a naïve and pure team, because we do not have divers or violent people or make nasty tackles, and we don’t have people diving into the swimming pool.”

On his side’s performance, Mourinho added: “We came to win the game.

“Maybe people feel we would have come with a packed midfield and try to go home with a point. We picked an attacking side and tried to win for 85 minutes.

“I accept that when they had Peter Crouch, Dirk Kuyt, Ryan Babel and Fernando Torres together at the end, and I have a giant (Alex) on my bench then I send that giant in and tell him ‘it is your time.’ I tried to close the door then and go home with a point, and it is two points Liverpool do not get.

“I knew then that Arsenal had drawn and Manchester United lost, so then I feel the point won is justified.”


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