Rudiger: Not easy to explain

Antonio Rudiger rued missed opportunities and a failure to keep a clean sheet as West Ham left the Bridge with a point yesterday.

The German’s fellow defender Cesar Azpilicueta deservedly put us ahead, and we had plenty of opportunities to extend our advantage before Hammers substitute Chicharito scored at Stamford Bridge for the fourth time off the bench.

That equaliser denied us the victory we required to stay in touch with the top four, leaving Rudiger a disappointed man afterwards.

‘I think we begged for the goal, and in the second half, or even in the first half, we could have finished the game, but like the last few months we couldn't, and we conceded at the end,’ he said.

‘It's not easy to explain. I don't understand after we go 1-0 up why we always drop off and let our opponents come and get stronger and have more ball possession. 

‘We could have done better, of course. Like in the last few weeks we gave them a gift. It was the first clear chance they had and they scored. It’s been a long time since we kept a clean sheet.

‘It’s our own fault. There’s nobody to blame but ourselves.’

Our next game at Southampton on Saturday is a dress rehearsal for the FA Cup semi-final later this month. Rudiger is looking to this weekend’s fixture as an opportunity to start building some positive momentum ahead of the showpiece Wembley tie and the final five league matches.

‘The thing is we have to start playing good football and winning games, because if we don't win games we cannot get in the top four.

‘We have to try and turn this around and finish the season on a high. There’s no other way. We have to go to Southampton and do our thing, analyse this West Ham game very well, and keep going.’