‘Quite extraordinary’: BBC Sport pundit raves about Chelsea FC star’s return
BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks says Antonio Rudiger's return to the Chelsea FC team was 'quite extraordinary'
Antonio Rudiger’s return to the Chelsea FC team was “quite extraordinary”, according to BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks.
The Germany international has been struggling with injuries this season and has been forced to sit on the sidelines for much of the campaign.
Rudiger partnered Kurt Zouma and Fikayo Tomori in defence for the trip to their bitter London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Sunday.
The 26-year-old was one of Chelsea FC’s standout players alongside Mason Mount and Willian in Sunday afternoon’s 2-0 win at Tottenham.
Willian scored twice in the first half to secure three points for Frank Lampard’s side, while Rudiger helped the Blues to keep a rare clean sheet.
BBC Sport pundit Crooks was full of praise for Rudiger’s assured performance at the back in Lampard’s team as the Blues reasserted their top-four credentials.
“The German international’s return to the Chelsea line-up, after a long lay-off through injury, was always going to be significant for Frank Lampard and Chelsea – and so it proved against Spurs,” Crooks told BBC Sport.
“Rudiger has always been incredibly competitive in his performances but the way he marshalled his defence and dealt with the threat of Son Heung-min, Harry Kane and Dele Alli was quite extraordinary.
“Spurs showed a distinct lack of discipline during this fixture, which was one of the reasons Son was given his marching orders.”
Chelsea FC are in fourth place and four points ahead of Sheffield United in the Premier League table.
The west London outfit’s 2-0 win against the Lilywhites opened a six-point lead over Spurs.
Manchester United, meanwhile, lost 2-0 to the Premier League’s basement club Watford to also lose ground on Chelsea FC.
The Blues will welcome Southampton to Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day before a short trip across London to Arsenal two days later.