Steven Gerrard was given a rousing ovation after withdrawing from his final bout with Jose Mourinho, having cancelled out John Terry’s header in a 1-1 draw. The Reds needed to inflict Chelsea’s first home loss in the league this season to keep their slim chances of qualifying for the Champions League alive, but are six points behind fourth-placed Manchester United with two games to play and a goal difference of 14 to overcome. The former England captain was the subject of plenty of songs on Sunday, with his goal a riposte before he was was replaced 11 minutes from time. Mourinho, who three times tried to sign Gerrard, led the applause, which swiftly drowned out the boos from the home faithful, who were louder than during last week’s title-clinching defeat of Crystal Palace. Gerrard told Sky Sports: “The Chelsea fans showed respect for a couple of seconds, but slaughtered me all game. It’s nice of them to turn up for once today.” Mourinho, who criticised his own supporters earlier this season, said: “The negative song only shows respect. “For Steve he gets that for almost two decades every week when he plays at Anfield. “To get that in an away stadium I think is a fantastic way for him to feel that probably every club, every stadium in this country, respects him a lot.” Rodgers added: “He’s taken a lot of stick here, but I think the Chelsea supporters knew deep down it’s only because he’s a superstar player. They showed great appreciation for him. “I thought he was excellent. The last couple of games he’s got the winner and he’s got the equaliser. “He’s a player that makes the big contributions when needed. I’ve said before he’s irreplaceable but we need to find the solutions, one way or the other.” Gerrard will not be Liverpool’s saviour on this occasion, with the Reds all but mathematically out of the Premier League top four ahead of his final game at Anfield next Saturday against Crystal Palace. Rodgers, who bemoaned a slow start, said: “We sit in fifth place and that’s probably where we’re at. If we want to make the next steps, we need to find some acquisitions in the summer to help us do that. “The players that I’ve worked with have been brilliant, given everything. Like today, we’ve been very unfortunate.” Mourinho wishes to keep his squad together, including goalkeeper Petr Cech, who was absent with a minor calf problem having been slated to start. “Last year I was keen to see some people leave and our club to raise some funds to buy other players,” Mourinho said. “Fundamental is to keep my players and to try to get the best out of them. “People like Oscar. Fabulous player. I have a feeling Oscar next year can have the same evolution (Eden) Hazard had this season.” Kurt Zouma had to come off with a knee problem, while 19-year-old midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s substitution after 60 minutes was pre-planned after an impressive showing. Europa League football is likely at Anfield next term, but Rodgers praised his players for their response to going behind, reserving his frustration for referee Andre Marriner’s decision to only book Fabregas for a reckless centre-circle lunge on Raheem Sterling. “It was a poor challenge. Fabregas should’ve been sent off – out of control, diving, stretching,” Rodgers said. “It was early in the game (but) it doesn’t matter if it’s early, beginning of the second half, end of the game. It was a bad challenge and he deserved a red card for it.” Fabregas’ tackle came after Liverpool gave Chelsea a guard of honour on to the field in recognition of their title success. Chelsea boss Mourinho said he did not see the challenge and thought it had been John Obi Mikel who committed the foul. In fact, Mikel was booked by Marriner before Fabregas, with the Nigeria midfielder’s card immediately rescinded. The Chelsea boss declined to comment further, citing the furore which followed Diego Costa’s apparent stamp and subsequent suspension following the Blues’ Capital One Cup semi-final win over the same opposition in January. Mourinho said: “I don’t think we need now another week of theatre like we had after the Capital Cup game.” Last season the Blues ended Liverpool’s hopes of a first championship in 24 years and Gerrard has not been allowed to forget it after his slip let Demba Ba in to score a crucial goal at Anfield. Brendan Rodgers felt Chelsea playmaker Cesc Fabregas should have been sent off in the opening minute as his Liverpool side’s Champions League hopes were all but ended at Stamford Bridge. Press Association
He then went on to answer a select number of questions from fans and clear the air on how Commodore received the photo of Babcock packing.”Commie didn’t take that picture,” Fraser said. “Babs coaches in Toronto. #Leafs fans are everywhere. That was someone else’s picture.”So who are we to believe? Well, perhaps Fraser said it best: “If only the outsiders in the hockey world knew the truth.” “Anyone who thinks @commie22 (Commodore) needs to lay off Babs (Babcock) just doesn’t understand how much hate players have for him,” Fraser said in a tweet Saturday. “It’s beyond him scratching @commie22 or saying he was out of shape. #NHL players are a very very small population of athletes and people. We share stories throughout the years with each other and for those outside the locker rooms, you will never truly understand some of the terrible undeserving things Babs has done to some of his players.”MORE: How Twitter reacted to Mike Babcock’s releaseFor those of you who might be lost, in 2002, Commodore was cut by Babcock for being overweight while the two were in Anaheim, so when Babcock was released by the Leafs on Wednesday, the former NHLer took some jabs at his former coach.GOOD AFTERNOOON FOLKS!!!— Mike Commodore (@commie22) November 20, 2019Folks….I have been dreaming about this moment for years……— Mike Commodore (@commie22) November 20, 2019Hey Mike Babcock….The entire Maple Leaf organization has had it with you….The Players & the entire Front office are sick and tired of your arrogance…#PackYourShit and beat it you piece of shit.— Mike Commodore (@commie22) November 20, 2019He had more to say, but the most recent post included a picture of Babcock packing his truck in Toronto, which seemingly prompted Fraser to come to the defense of Commodore.Good afternoon Folks!!!Mike Babcock has #PackedHisShit pic.twitter.com/J5mndJUewk— Mike Commodore (@commie22) November 22, 2019In a thread of tweets, Fraser mentioned how 95 percent of the players he has heard from regarding Babcock “can’t say a good thing about (him).” He also noted that Commodore was speaking for the masses in reference to the fraternity of current and former NHL players. MORE: Mike Babcock could have several coaching options It seems to be one of those stories that keeps evolving, and the bigger it gets, the more people are willing to speak up.Former Maple Leafs defenseman Mark Fraser is the latest individual to share a few thoughts on the Mike Babcock-Mike Commodore feud. Fraser, who spent two out of his seven seasons in the NHL with Toronto, backed Commodore’s aggressive analysis of Babcock and offered some intriguing insight into how NHL players may view Babcock.