Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was confused by relegation-threatened Norwich's defensive tactics as his side's fading title hopes were dealt a severe blow by a goalless draw with the Canaries at Stamford Bridge.
Neil Adams' side sat three points off safety before kick-off, knowing 17th-placed Sunderland would have a game in hand even after Sunday's match, but Mourinho felt they did not play like that was the case.
"We had one team that needed three points to survive and they didn't play to win," the Portuguese told Sky Sports 1.
The Blues boss was frustrated by his side's first-half display, but felt they deserved to win after improving in the second half.
"We tried everything but at the end of the day we knew we had no chance of being champions," he said.
"We knew we needed a point to finish in the group stages of the Champions League (by securing third place). That is no trophy for us, but it was important to finish third."
Mourinho preferred to laugh rather than cry after watching his side's slim Premier League title hopes fade further on Sunday as the point saw them concede further ground to Manchester City and Liverpool.
He lamented referee Neil Swarbrick's decision not to award Eden Hazard a penalty when Ryan Bennett swiped wildly at the Belgium forward.
Mourinho rushed to his office in the Stamford Bridge tunnel to confirm his initial suspicions that a spot-kick should have been awarded.
Mourinho said: "I saw (it) in the game, but to confirm I had a quick run to my office and I arrived in time to watch (the replay) and then go back to the dug-out laughing."
Why the laughter? "Because I can't cry."
With his assistant Rui Faria serving a six-match stadium ban following his dismissal against Sunderland and Mourinho facing Football Association disciplinary proceedings of his own, the Portuguese then kept his counsel.
He declined to assess the challenge on Andre Schurrle by Alex Tettey which might also have resulted in a spot-kick or discuss the moment when Norwich were denied by the officials when John Terry clattered Martin Olsson.
Mourinho added: "My assistant is in jail."
In assessing the first season of his second spell, Mourinho made a cryptic reference to the controversial losses to Aston Villa and Sunderland.
"Without festivals it would have been a better season," added Mourinho, who admitted the midweek Champions League exit may have sapped his side's energy levels.
"Our strikers are good strikers, but are players with some specific qualities.
"They are not the kind of players who in five square metres, with three or four players around, who can get the ball, dribble on, see the space and shoot.
"So when the team is in a difficult situation they are not able to, normally, resolve the situation for us."
Hazard collected the Blues supporters' player of the year award on the pitch before kick-off but was only a substitute.
The Belgium forward, who has been continually linked with Paris St Germain, was criticised by Mourinho in the wake of the Blues' loss to Atletico Madrid.
Mourinho admitted Chelsea were improved after Hazard's introduction.
"The team was much better in the second half," Mourinho added.
"Was Eden playing in the second half? Yes. Had he responsibilities in the second half? Yes."
Norwich's relegation could be completed on Wednesday.
A draw between Sunderland and West Brom - two and three points above Norwich, respectively - would all but seal their fate as they have such an inferior goal difference that a win at home to Arsenal next Sunday would be immaterial.
Canaries boss Neil Adams said: "Now we keep our fingers crossed and hope for a few results.
"If we go into the last game of the season, Arsenal at Carrow Road, needing to win the game, that's all we can hope for.
"We didn't want to lose the game. If we'd lost, we were down.
"We had a stonewall penalty denied us in the first half.
"It's pretty clear. Martin gets a touch to take it away from Ashley Cole, and John Terry's momentum takes him out. Probably (a red card, too).
"Had we got that we might have been leaving Stamford Bridge with three points instead of the one."