Did this Chelsea defeat force Liverpool to appoint Jurgen Klopp?

Did Chelsea and Jose Mourinho force Liverpool into action over Jurgen Klopp’s appointment at Anfield?

The charismatic former Borussia Dortmund coach replaced Brendan Rodgers at Anfield after the Northern Irishman was suddenly sacked after the 1-1 draw with local rivals Everton on October 4.

Despite the Reds’ laboured performances and an increasingly disillusioned and apathetic fanbase, the sacking of Rodgers still came as a shock to many who felt that the club’s owners Fenway Sports Group were prepared to give the ex-Swansea man a chance of redemption after an £80 million summer outlay.

Rodgers was given the chop just hours after the draw against the Toffees, but it was a result some 200 miles away 24 hours earlier that perhaps forced FSG to move for Klopp.

Chelsea were beaten on October 3 by Ronald Koeman’s free-spirited Southampton side at Stamford Bridge, and Mourinho’s subsequent seven-minute rant after the game could have been key to Liverpool’s proactive and decisive swoop for Klopp.

Mourinho defiantly and very publicly dared the club’s owner Roman Abramovich to sack him after claiming that he was in no mood to walk away from Stamford Bridge, despite a continued struggle to extract anywhere near what his squad are clearly capable of.

"If the club wants to sack me they have to sack me because I am not running away," Mourinho was reported as saying by sources such as the BBC after the Southampton game. "To be champions now is very difficult because the distance is so much but I am convinced we will finish in the top four.

"It is a crucial moment in the history of this club because if they sack me they sack the best manager this club has ever had. The message is that the results are the fault of the manager.

"This is a moment for everybody to assume their responsibilities and stick together."

Mourinho’s apparent last-stand was met with a clear vote of confidence from Chelsea, with the club quick to release a statement via Twitter declaring that their manager’s position was not in doubt.

Sky Sports published the statement: "The club wants to make it clear that Jose continues to have our full support. As Jose has said himself, results have not been good enough and the team's performances must improve.

"However, we believe that we have the right manager to turn this season around and that he has the squad with which to do it."

However, a studious Liverpool watched the developments with a keener eye than most, and perhaps surmised that Klopp may be at the summit of Chelsea’s shortlist if they did decide to give Mourinho his marching orders, and the 18-time champions were astute in their appointment.

The international break provided Liverpool with the space they needed to move for the German, and Klopp was in the hotseat by the time they met Tottenham in their next match on October 17.

The round of international fixtures afforded the embattled Mourinho some breathing space, and crucially for Liverpool, it gave the five-time European Cup winners a chance to swoop for their new manager whilst the furore over Chelsea’s future had quelled somewhat.

Klopp is yet to lose as Reds boss and he and his re-energised Liverpool side turned up the pressure on Mourinho at Stamford Bridge with a 3-1 win on Saturday lunchtime.

The victory was Klopp’s first in the Premier League since taking charge, and an 11-game unbeaten run for Liverpool is given a chance for extension when they visit Rubin Kazan in the Europa League on Thursday.

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