Rudiger signs off on first season with Chelsea in style


Winning the FA Cup with Chelsea was certainly an ideal way for Antonio Rudiger to sign off on his first season with the Blues.

In a match where the powerful German put in a man of the match performance, he encapsulated precisely why he’s grown into such an integral component of the Chelsea squad.

Operating on the left side of Chelsea’s central defensive back three, the man who joined from AS Roma in the summer for £34 million, exuded authority, strength and diligence throughout. Making life extremely challenging for the Manchester United frontline, and Marcus Rashford especially, Rudiger put his pace, concentration and awareness to good use, thus ensuring many an attack was cut out before developing.

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Rudiger stepping up to prevent Rashford receiving cleanly to instigate a counter.

Showing excellent balance and his strong knowledge of where best to orient his body posture to deal with whatever scenario he was confronted with, the 25-year-old took up great positions to handle his adversaries’ efforts. In addition, the way he’d shift across and cover the space in behind the onrushing Marcos Alonso importantly enabled him the freedom to maraud forward while giving his team structural security in the event of a turnover.

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Rudiger astutely covering behind Alonso.

Further positives to be drawn from his exemplary body of work came through his judgement when competing in aerial duels and ground battles, plus through his competency in carrying the ball out from the back and solid distribution.

Chipping in with three tackles, eight clearances and two blocked shots, there was no denying what a tremendous impact he had on his team’s triumph and being able to keep a clean sheet.

Providing his team with tactical versatility, something he worked on so well during his time under Luciano Spalletti at Roma, leadership and quality to match this campaign, Rudiger looks set to be a fixture of this Chelsea team for many years to come.

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