Respect: Essien praises Chelsea fans for applauding Steven Gerrard

Michael Essien has praised the Chelsea fans for paying their respects to Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard.

The Reds skipper received a standing ovation from both sets of fans when the 34-year-old was replaced in the second half of what is likely to be his final appearance at Stamford Bridge.

Gerrard managed to get on the score sheet in the west London clash after the former England midfielder cancelled out John Terry’s opener just before half-time.

Chelsea legend Essien, who faced Gerrard on many occasions during his Premier League career, was pleased to see Liverpool give his former club a guard of honour and the Blues fans honour his old rival.

Essien wrote on his Instagram page: ‘Great to see Liverpool showing respect to Chelsea for winning the premier league this season and also it was great to see the Chelsea fans showing their respect to @stevengerrard.

‘Football is all about respect and fair play#football#respect#fairplay#blueisthecolor’

Gerrard came close to joining Liverpool in 2005 after Chelsea launched a £32.5m bid for the talismanic midfielder.

However, the Reds skipper, who had led the club to Champions League glory months earlier, eventually turned down the offer.

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