(CNN)Jose Mourinho's "dear enemy" breached his Chelsea team's defense in a poignant Stamford Bridge farewell Sunday but it was not enough to give Liverpool the victory it needed to keep its Champions League hopes alive.
Departing Steven Gerrard scores in poignant farewell to Stamford Bridge
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Steven Gerrard, leaving Anfield for Los Angeles Galaxy at the end of the season, headed a first half equalizer in the 1-1 draw and was given a standing ovation from all sides of the ground as he was substituted after the break.
Mourinho had paid fulsome tribute to the former England captain in the pre-match build up and revealed he had tried to sign the star midfielder while managing in his first spell at Chelsea and later at Inter Milan and Real Madrid.
It was a love match which was to prove unfulfilled and with Chelsea wrapping up the EPL title last weekend, Mourinho did not begrudge Gerrard his one last moment in the big-time limelight.
Gerrard returned the compliment in the post-match interviews. "I have huge respect for him. He's the best manager in the world in my opinion," he said.
"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."
He also reserved a barbed comment to the Chelsea fans, who have subjected him to plenty of opprobrium over the years. "It's nice of them to turn up for once," he said.
While Gerrard was on the pitch, he was a key figure in Liverpool's general dominance, despite falling behind to a typical headed goal from his fellow captain and international teammate John Terry on five minutes.
Gerrard scored his 12th of the season with a header from a Jordan Henderson free kick and his team might have grabbed the victory it needed to maintain its challenge for a top four place in the EPL against a rather lackluster home team.
Earlier Sunday, Queen's Park Rangers became the second team to be relegated from the English Premier League, humbled 6-0 by deposed champion Manchester City.
Sergio Aguero improved his chances of ending the season as the leading scorer in the EPL by grabbing a hat-trick -- taking his tally to 25. Aleksandar Kolarov, James Milner and David Silva were also on target in the one-sided rout.
It left QPR, owned by Malaysian businessman Tony Fernandes, bottom of the table and nine points adrift of safety with only six points available. Second bottom Burnley's relegation was confirmed Saturday.
Aguero's fourth minute opener set the scene for the rout and underlined the defensive weakness which has blighted QPR all season since winning promotion via the playoffs.
Harry Redknapp took them to the top-flight, but quit earlier this season, leaving Chris Ramsey in charge.
His was always an uphill task with teams around them starting to pick up points and the third relegation spot is still to be decided, currently occupied by Hull.
In the Bundesliga, VfL Wolfsburg secured Champions League qualification for the first time in six years with a 3-1 win over lowly Paderborn.
Dutch striker Bas Dost scored twice as the Wolves moved to second in the standings behind Bayern Munich with a first win in four league games.
Sunday's late game in Serie A, was an incident-packed affair as two goals from Hernanes saw Inter Milan beat Lazio 2-1 in a game that had two players sent off and Inter also miss a penalty.
The win boosts Inter's hopes of winning a late Europa League place.