Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has provided his full backing to Antonio Rudiger, on the back of the German’s widely publicised training ground fallout with Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Blues bust-up

Ongoings in west London of course took centre stage in the English media on Sunday evening.

This came after word quickly spread online that two members of Thomas Tuchel’s squad had been involved in a heated bust-up.

24 hours on from Chelsea’s harrowing 5-2 defeat at the hands of West Brom, Antonio Rudiger and Kepa Arrizabalaga needed separating in training, eventually resulting in the former being dismissed from the session.

Rudiger is said to have been responsible for a late challenge on his shot-stopper teammate, which left Kepa angered.

In turn, the pair exchanged words, along with some pushing and shoving, with Rudiger’s failure to calm down having left Tuchel with no choice but to send the German back inside early.

Antonio Rudiger sent in early from Chelsea training today after a bust-up with Kepa Arrizabalaga – Thomas Tuchel had warned his players not to lose their heads after the 5-2 defeat to WBA #cfc

— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) April 4, 2021

‘Showed a lot of courage’

The incident was of course forthcoming just days before Chelsea are set to return to action once more, in a crunch Champions League quarter-final showdown with Porto.

Whilst Kepa was always unlikely to feature in the clash, Rudiger’s participation, on the other hand, was thrown very much up in the air by Sunday’s events.

As a result, speaking during his pre-match press conference on Tuesday, Thomas Tuchel was inevitably drawn on whether or not his fellow countryman’s chances of securing a start versus Porto have taken a hit.

The Chelsea boss, however, was quick to assure that this is not the case:

Tuchel on whether Rudiger will start for #CFC…seemed to say: “Absolutely, yes.”

— Simon Johnson (@SJohnsonSport) April 6, 2021

Tuchel, from here, went on to provide an in-depth insight into the bust-up itself.

The German tactician, though, rather than focus on the negatives, was keen to highlight how ‘impressed’ he was by how the pair dealt with the situation, once the dust had settled:

‘It was nothing to do with the defeat, it was just an incident in training; it got heated up between Toni and Kepa.’

‘So we calmed the situation down immediately. I don’t want to play it down with anything artificial, these are things we don’t want to accept; it was unusual but they can happen.’

‘They are all competitors and want to win training matches. We needed to interfere in the situation, so that was serious.’

Antonio Rudiger in line for Chelsea start vs Porto as Thomas Tuchel hails reaction to training ground spat

LEICESTER, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 01: Antonio Rudiger of Chelsea celebrates with Tammy Abraham after scoring his team’s second goal during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Chelsea FC at The King Power Stadium on February 01, 2020 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

‘But the way the guys handled the situation, that was impressive and showed a lot of courage.’

‘The reaction was not okay, but the reaction to it, how the guys handled the situation, especially Toni and Kepa, was amazing and showed how much respect they have for each other.’

‘They cleared the air immediately. This was the most important so there was nothing left the day after. We spoke about the issue and then it was solved.’

Tuchel continued:

‘This was the main part. They sorted it out straight after training in a very honest, humble and very direct way. That showed me they have very good character.’

‘Toni sorted it out directly, and it was a strong and brave thing to do. So I am happy with the way they dealt with it.’


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