Monday 05 May 2014
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said his side "risked everything" in their pursuit of victory against Norwich City on Sunday afternoon.
The Blues ended up recording a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge, a result which leaves their Barclays Premier League title ambitions hanging by a thread.
The point guarantees Chelsea at least third spot in the table but Mourinho believes that the UEFA Champions League semi-final exit in midweek played a part in their display against the Canaries.
"It was a lazy first half; slow, no pressure, the midfield weren't arriving to press the opponent, the passing was very slow," he said.
"When you lose a Champions League semi-final and you know you are not realistically in the title race, the mental energy and focus disappears. You start think more about what's next then what you have to do now and that was reflected in the first half, which was typical of that state of mind.
"We executed the game plan virtually to perfection"
"In the second half we were much better, good enough to win, but we didn't. The game was a bit of a contradiction because they had to win to try to have a chance to survive but they didn't try, and we needed a point to finish third and we risked everything."
Norwich City manager Neil Adams praised the "phenomenal effort" of his team in London as they ended a run of five consecutive League defeats.
The club are still in deep relegation trouble, however, as they are two points from safety having played a match more than 17th-placed Sunderland.
The Canaries must beat Arsenal on the final weekend and hope that Sunderland, who hold a vastly superior goal difference, lose their remaining home matches to West Bromwich Albion and Swansea City.
"Full credit to the players," said Adams. "It was a phenomenal effort. We executed the game plan virtually to perfection. I would have liked a little bit more attacking threat from us as a team. Chelsea had a lot of possession and put us under a lot of pressure. Had we done that then who knows? In terms of the players' effort it was fantastic.
"I've said from day one that I’ve been here, the response that I’ve had from the players both on the training ground and in games has been absolutely first class. The intensity is there, the desire in there, we’ve got a good group of players. It's been a really frustrating season, of course, and I feel, the players feel and the supporters feel that we should be in a better position. In terms of today, though, everybody has seen exactly what we’re capable of doing, and I think we definitely deserved something from today, which we got.
"We've got to keep our fingers crossed now and hope for a few results but if we go into the last game of the season at Carrow Road against Arsenal needing to win the game … that's all we can hope for. You've seen today that if that's the case we'll give it every go. We'll be ready for it."