Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger 'probably' dropped for Antonio Conte comments

Annette Crawford
April 16, 2018

Antonio Rudiger was axed from Chelsea's squad to face Southampton as punishment for publicly questioning supervisor Antonio Conte's methods. And David Luiz, now sidelined with a knee injury, was replaced by Andreas Christensen in the starting XI in November after coming into conflict with his head coach during a training session at Cobham.

The result also provided some much-needed respite for Conte, who began the week as the subject of intense speculation that he had been sacked by Chelsea following a disappointing 1-1 draw with West Ham at Stamford Bridge.

Germany worldwide Rudiger was replaced by Andreas Christensen in the starting XI and not on the bench despite being fully fit, with Conte saying it was a "tactical decision".

Asked by ZDF whether he thought he had been left out because of his comments, Rudiger said: "Probably". But I didn't mean it that way.

Chelsea beat Saints 3-2 after coming from two goals down to keep their slim chances of finishing in the top four alive.

"It was a fact, it wasn't about the tactics".

In the second half we showed great character and reaction and desire to win the game.

It seemed as if Chelsea's poor season was about to slump to even lower depths with just 20 minutes left of their Premier League fixture away to Southampton yesterday. He's my coach. I must respect him.

Chelsea FC are still aiming to finish the season with a trophy and they will take on Southampton in the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley next weekend.

The Blues are said to have already sounded out former boss Luis Enrique over the hotseat, but the Spaniard's inability to make a quick decision - and amid reported rival interest from PSG - means Chelsea are now looking at alternatives.

"I think it would be a good reconciliation [with the supporters] with the FA Cup".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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