Chelsea boss Frank Lampard quizzed on Antonio Rudiger after Krasnodar win

Chelsea's goalkeeper Edouard Mendy (L) and head coach Frank Lampard after the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League Group E Round 2 football match between FC Krasnodar and Chelsea FC at Krasnodar Stadium.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard was quizzed on why Antonio Rudiger made a rare outing against Krasnodar.

The Germany international made his first appearance of the season after falling out with the manager in the transfer window.

It had been assumed that the centre-back was on his way out, with several clubs interested.

AC Milan and Roma were keen, while Paris St-Germain were a surprise option but Tottenham were leading the charge.

Ultimately, the Blues did not want to strengthen a Premier League rival as other moves faltered.

It resulted in Rudiger staying put while him and Lampard had clear-the-air talks this week.

And the Chelsea coach was keen to repay the defender's turnaround by throwing him straight into the first-team fold in the Champions League.

The 27-year-old put a decent showing on, partnered with Kurt Zouma at the back and keeping a clean sheet in a 4-0 win.

When asked about Rudiger, Lampard admitted it was tough keeping five centre-backs all happy.

He said: "I was very pleased with Rudiger and Zouma. I didn't have doubts over putting Toni in [to the starting line-up].

"I was very pleased with his concentration levels to have a real desire to keep his clean sheet.

"It is not easy to keep five centre backs happy but we need that level of competition to move forward."

Thiago Silva was left at home as Chelsea look to manage his fitness while the likes of Fikayo Tomori and Andreas Christensen are finding it tough to break into the first-team.

One academy starlet to make an impact on Wednesday night was Callum Hudson-Odoi, who grabbed the opener - albeit from a goalkeeper error.

The England international has largely been frozen out this season but Lampard was full of praise for the 19-year-old.

He said: "Callum deserved a chance to play. He’s trained very well recently, we have competition in those areas and we are also in the middle of a very busy patch of games.

"We need input from all the attacking players, and we had that today - Callum getting his goal, Hakim, Christian coming on for a goal. I was very pleased with those parts of our game.

"The goal is going to be good for his confidence. There were things I liked in his game - the desire to run behind the defence, sometimes one v one it didn’t go his way but when you play in the Champions League and you get that goal, I know the feeling of confidence it can give him."

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post