Steven Gerrard: Chelsea ovation, Mourinho and Liverpool

Steven Gerrard
In 39 appearances against Chelsea, Steven Gerrard has scored just two goals

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard played down the significance of a standing ovation given to him by Chelsea fans.

The midfielder scored in a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

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"I was more happy with the ovation from the Liverpool fans," said Gerrard. "Chelsea fans have had respect for a couple of seconds today but have slaughtered me all game.

"I'm not going to get drawn into wishing Chelsea fans well. It was nice of them to turn up for once today."

Speaking to BBC Sport, Gerrard added: "It was a nice touch. I know they've absolutely murdered me for years because I never signed here. I've had great support from the Liverpool fans - that's all that matters to me."

Steven Gerrard
Some Chelsea supporters mocked Steven Gerrard with these signs

'I would have signed for Chelsea but...'

Gerrard, 34, has been the focus of chants from Blues fans for a number of years.

Chelsea tried to sign the former England captain on three different occasions, while last season Gerrard famously slipped to allow Chelsea to score and put Manchester City on course for the Premier League title at the expense of Liverpool.

When asked about current Blues boss Jose Mourinho, Gerrard said: "I have huge respect for him. He's the best manager in the world. I would have signed for him on three occasions if I wasn't such a big Liverpool fan.

"He's the reason my head was turned on a couple of occasions but he knew why I couldn't do it, because I love Liverpool Football Club. It always means more when you win for your people."

'An old, dear enemy'

Mourinho reciprocated the respect for Gerrard, saying the midfielder has been a "special" player as he prepares to exit the Premier League for Major League Soccer side LA Galaxy in the United States.

"I'm so happy with the ovation," said Mourinho. "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.

"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."

Brendan Rodgers & Jose Mourinho
Steven Gerrard has won 11 games in 39 appearances against Chelsea

Will Gerrard return to the Premier League?

Nobody knows the answer to that, but Gerrard says he would be keen to work at Liverpool in an off-the-field capacity.

First of all, however, he is consumed with his final game at Anfield, against Crystal Palace next Saturday.

"It's very difficult at the moment," said Gerrard, who won 114 caps for England. "It's going to be difficult to let go. I've been here 27 years.

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"I'm walking away with my held held high, I'm really proud of what I achieved here. There have been some lows too but it's a part of being a footballer.

"I grew up in the city dreaming of representing the club and I've achieved more than I thought I would.

"I'd love to come back in some capacity. That's out of my control. Liverpool's in my heart. I'll support from afar for a couple of years. When I return in a couple of years, whoever's in charge of the club, it's down to them."

'It was a proper game'

Chelsea had already won the Premier League title before facing Liverpool, but Mourinho denied any suggestions his side took it easy against the Reds.

"It was a proper game," the Portuguese said. "It was not a pre-season game. Both teams were trying to get a result. Were Chelsea at their best? No. But were they at a level where we show we want to compete? Clearly.

"It's normal - people like John 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."

Map out the road to Premier League and cup glory by predicting the scores for all the remaining ties in the Premier League and the FA Cup final and see how your guesses fare against BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson.

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