Liverpool get massive boost in London chase as boss edges target towards exit signs

Jose Mourinho lauded the defensive resilience of Chelsea after they moved seven points clear at the top of the Premier League, which has edged Liverpool target Ashley Cole towards the exit signs.

Saturday’s 4-0 defeat of Spurs saw the Blues claim a seventh clean sheet in their last ten league games and extend their advantage over Mourinho’s title-pick Manchester City to nine points, although they have three games in hand.

Full-backs Branislav Ivanovic and Cesar Azpilicueta and centre-backs Gary Cahill and John Terry have been Mourinho’s favoured back four since Christmas.

‘We prepare matches, we analyse opponents – you try to find the best balance,’ Mourinho said. ‘I like Ivanovic playing right-back more than as a central defender.

‘I like a lot the stability of Cahill and the understanding of Cahill with John. And at this moment, Azpilicueta is unbeatable.

‘For many, many matches I haven’t seen one player beat Azpilicueta in an individual duel.’ (Metro)

Cole is tipped to leave the club and Mourinho’s words will just ramp up speculation he could make a move at the end of the season

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