Chelsea competed for Premier League dignity - Mourinho
11 May 2015, 11:21
London - It was not a vintage Chelsea performance but manager Jose Mourinho said his newly-crowned champions competed for the dignity of the Premier League in their 1-1 draw against Liverpool on Sunday.
The visitors welcomed Chelsea on to the pitch with a guard of honour at Stamford Bridge and the hosts responded by taking the lead after five minutes when John Terry headed in from a corner.
Visiting captain Steven Gerrard capitalised on some slack defending to nod home the equaliser just before halftime but neither side could make the decisive breakthrough in the second half.
"It was a proper game. It was not a pre-season game. Both teams were trying to get a result. Were Chelsea at their top? No. But were we at a level where we show we want to compete? Clearly," Mourinho told the BBC.
"It's normal, people like Jon Mikel Obi, Loic Remy, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, many weeks without playing, in the second half they felt it.
"The second half was a bit difficult for us but we competed for what we have to compete for, the dignity of the Premier League."
Gerrard, teased by Chelsea fans about his slip last season which allowed Demba Ba to score at Anfield and undermined their title hopes, got a standing ovation when he was substituted as he prepares to join LA Galaxy at the end of the season.
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Mourinho was delighted Gerrard, a player he tried to sign for Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid, was given a warm send off by the home crowd.
"I'm so happy with that. The negative song Chelsea fans sing for him is respect for an old, dear enemy that fought so much against us in every competition," the Portuguese coach said.
"After that, the standing applause is amazing. To get it at Anfield he gets it week in week out, year after year but away from home it shows a lot.
"Moments like that and when Crystal Palace come here and fight and win, Burnley fight like lions, us losing at home to a League One team in Bradford, moments like that make this country special."
Chelsea have 84 points from 36 games, 11 more than second-placed Manchester City, and visit West Bromwich Albion and host Sunderland in their final two matches of the season.