En route to that final against Milan, Benitez’s side beat Chelsea in the last four of the competition. The London club claimed the title but for the second time in two seasons Mourinho suffered at the hands of Liverpool. After the second leg of the semi-final – a tie played in one of the most frantic atmospheres ever seen at Anfield – the Portuguese stood on the pitch and stared at the Kop for a long time, perhaps wondering what it would be like to be the object of adulation from one of the most famous ends in football.
Mourinho gained revenge a number of times, most famously in 2014 during his second spell at Stamford Bridge when Chelsea’s 2-0 win on Merseyside in the last week of the season ended Liverpool’s title challenge. He also put out feelers about the Anfield job on at least one other occasion.
He returns to L4 leading a Spurs team that are top of the league, separated by goal difference from Jurgen Klopp’s side. Mourinho will be bullish and unlikely to feel any regret about the events of 2004, even though the rejection changed the course of history. One thing is for sure: he will show Houllier more respect tomorrow than his representatives gave to the Frenchman 16 years ago.
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