Villas-Boas backed by Dalglish

LIVERPOOL manager Kenny Dalglish leapt to the defence of Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas after condemning them to a third defeat in four Premier League games.

Villas-Boas is facing the first troubled patch of his brief tenure at Stamford Bridge, where under-performing managers do not tend to linger. But Dalglish insists the young Portuguese coach retains the respect of his peers.

“No-one in the football profession will be questioning him,” said the Scot. “I don’t know the lad, but he had a fantastic CV at Porto. I don’t know what the criticism will be, but there’s huge respect for him in the football profession.”

Dalglish believed his team were deserved victors, thanks to goals from Maxi Rodriguez and Glen Johnson, having seen off a second-half Chelsea fightback marked by Daniel Sturridge’s equaliser. He added: “We played really well in the first half. They played better in the second half, but the players hung on.”