Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho continued to wax lyrical about Steven Gerrard, saying he will miss the Liverpool captain when he departs for LA Galaxy.
Gerrard’s header earned Liverpool a 1-1 draw at Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday, and the former England captain was given a warm reception when he was substituted late on at Stamford Bridge.
Earlier this week, Mourinho described Gerrard as “a champion” and heaped further praise on the midfielder following Sunday’s meeting.
“To get an ovation at Stamford Bridge is special for Steven Gerrard, we have lots of respect for the top guys. I will miss him,” Mourinho told Sky Sports.
“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.
“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.”
Mourinho’s side, crowned champions with a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace last week, made a strong start and took the lead through John Terry’s fifth-minute header.
But Liverpool came into the game after that, and after Gerrard’s leveller late in the first half, enjoyed the better of the second period.
“It was a good performance if you understand the circumstances,” Mourinho said.
“When a team is always playing at the limits to be champions, a team that is champions last weekend it is normal that you lose a bit of intensity.
“But we worked hard. We had players at a positive level and we were competing for a result. We were very good in the first half. Physically we went down in the second half.
“It was important for us to show that we are champions and we have the dignity of trying to get a result. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, I took him off because I could imagine him suffering in the final 30 minutes.
“He came off at the right moment, he understood what the Premier League is and it couldn’t be better.”
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