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By ESPN Staff

Mourinho hails his dethroned 'heroes'

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho labelled his players 'heroes' despite seeing the Premiership title head to Old Trafford.

Chelsea needed to win at Arsenal on Sunday to keep the season alive but could only manage a 1-1 draw, Michael Essien equalising after a Gilberto penalty put the home side in front.

Asked if the best team had won the title, Mourinho said: 'It doesn't matter, what matters is the team with more points is the champion.

'I have to congratulate the champions, the players, the manager, the fans, the board; all the people that help them be champions.

'I have to say that maybe I'm prouder today than when I was champion. My players are heroes. All season, against absolutely everything, they did brilliantly.

'The season was magnificent and I think today is a game to remember. It showed how big Chelsea players are and I couldn't be happier with the way it finished for us.'

Speaking on Sky Sports,/i>, Mourinho added: 'We had a big problem only to play all season only with (Ricardo) Carvalho at centre-half but now is not the moment to talk about that.

'I'm very proud of my players. Normally when a team has a lot of success and loses a championship it's lack of motivation, not the same spirit or ambition, but it was exactly the opposite.

'My team was brilliant.'