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Dublin: 12°C Thursday 15 April 2021

Rudiger reveals how 'terrifying' Sarri rant inspired Man City victory

The Germany defender explained how the Chelsea coach’s reaction to their loss against Wolves contributed to their victory over the reigning league champions.

Maurizio Sarri (file pic).
Maurizio Sarri (file pic).
Image: Mike Egerton

CHELSEA CENTRE-BACK Antonio Rudiger has revealed how ‘terrifying’ boss Maurizio Sarri inspired their victory over defending champions Manchester City.

After a shock 2-1 loss against Wolves in their previous game, Chelsea ended City’s unbeaten league status with a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

And Rudiger credits Sarri with addressing the squad’s mentality issues after his furious reaction to their loss at Molineux. 

“After the Wolves game, he [Sarri] was terrifying,” Rudiger told reporters. 

“He was going crazy. But that was okay because we shouldn’t have lost this match.

“The day after, [Sarri] was very calm and clear-minded. He spoke with us and made it clear that we have to believe in ourselves. He wanted us to go into the City game looking for the win.

We spoke together. We all knew what was going on, we didn’t have to lie to ourselves: the mentality was the problem.

“One of the things that made us strong in difficult moments last season was that we knew how to suffer. This season, because things were going so good, we were thinking, ‘We don’t need to suffer’.

“Two teams, Tottenham and Wolves, proved us wrong. That’s why, against Manchester City, everyone saw a team that was ready to fight. We wanted to take the supporters with us and we did that.

“By ‘suffering’, what I mean is when we are having a tough time, we need to man up, keep our chins up and work.

“We were playing beautiful football at the start of the season, but that doesn’t mean you forget the ugly side of it: winning tackles, tracking back, doing everything defensively.

Against Manchester City, we were very clinical, which was also important. That has been missing over the last month, but against City, we did something out of nothing.”

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Sarri raised eyebrows ahead of the City game by naming Eden Hazard as a central striker, something which the Belgium international had clashed with former boss Antonio Conte over last season, and leaving natural strikers Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud out of the side.

But Rudiger backed his coach given the result over City, explaining that the tactics with Hazard as a false nine are now more likely to get the best out of the former Lille star.

“The coach has given everyone the chance this season to prove themselves. Everyone has to accept this decision [to play Hazard up front] and perhaps it was a good [choice].

“It wasn’t like last season when we tried to pump long balls to Eden. No, we tried to keep it on the ground.”

Chelsea are back in action on Thursday as they look to make it six wins out of six in the Europa League against Vidi.

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