Having not only marked his 100th Chelsea game with the opening goal against Leicester yesterday but also the equaliser after we had allowed our opponents to take the lead, Toni Rudiger confirmed his two headers were the product of plenty of preparation in training.
It is the first time in the centre-back’s career he has scored twice in one game and they were his first goals since October 2018 and another 2-2 draw, that one against Manchester United. Although we needed a win yesterday to close the gap on Leicester above us, the fact we took a point was still important in the big picture of trying to take a top-four place according to the German.
‘This point for us is massive but we definitely need to do better after the winter break because the next matches can lead the way for our season,’ Rudiger said. The Blues face Manchester United and Tottenham at home when the season resumes.
‘Mentally the break will be very good and when we are back we will be ready to go.
‘Leicester are a strong side, they are very good collectively but in the first 30 minutes we gave them problems. But then because of some sloppiness they had some good chances and there was a good save by Willy [Caballero] but we still had some chances to score and this is what we need to work on, being clinical.
‘Definitely it was time [I scored] and we were training very hard on these type of set-piece situations, and in this game it came my way.
‘I always try to be dangerous in this situation and this game the crosses from Mason [Mount] were good and I felt confident.’
The second header especially was one with which Rudiger can feel proud but unlike his first goal, there was not time for celebrations as he grabbed the ball and raced it back to the centre-spot.
‘It was 2-2 and there was still time so I wanted to push everyone.
‘Ben Chilwell had problems [for the goal] because we were two against one against him so it was difficult for him to defend, but the header I think was a good one.’
Behind Rudiger in goal for the first time this season in the Premier League was Willy Caballero.
‘For me I have with both goalkeepers a good relationship,’ said Rudiger. ‘This is the decision of the coach and we respect that. I have to give Willy as much confidence as I give to Kepa always and I think he did a great job.’