Toni Rudiger said that the words of Thomas Tuchel at half-time gave the Chelsea players the inspiration they needed to come from behind and defeat Man City at the Etihad Stadium.
A crazy end to the first half saw the Blues go behind to a Raheem Sterling strike on the stroke of half-time, before moments later Edouard Mendy kept out a Sergio Aguero penalty.
After the break, Chelsea equalised through Hakim Ziyech before grabbing all three points in dramatic fashion as Marcos Alonso netted an injury-time winner.
It was the calming words of Tuchel that provided the spark needed, as Rudiger revealed when reflecting on such a big three points.
‘It was a crazy game!’ Rudiger explained.
‘We conceded in the last few minutes of the first half, then there was the penalty also which was saved by Edou. Then we came out for the second half and we started very strong after half-time.
‘We showed a great fighting spirit. Even the players that haven’t always played that often, they came into the team against a very strong City side and they made the difference for us and this is very important because it shows we need everyone to play their part.
‘Against a team like City, you can accept that they will have a lot of the ball. We were all clear before the game that we knew we would have moments where we would suffer. We went through that and kept working hard.
‘Other than their goal and the penalty, I don’t think they created too much. We remained focus on our game and we always believed we could create chances of our own.
‘At half-time, we were still in the game and the coach highlighted that to us. He wanted us to go out and show spirit, which we did, and we all totally believed that we could turn things around.
‘They are a very strong team but they are also human, and there will be times when they make mistakes. When that happens, you have to be ready to punish them and we did that at the end with our winning goal and it was a great feeling for everyone to get this victory.’
The victory means Tuchel’s Blues have now defeated Pep Guardiola’s City side in our past two outings, in both the FA Cup and the Premier League, with another huge game in the Champions League final to come later this month – a game Rudiger has clear intentions for.
‘There’s a long way to go until the Champions League final on the 29th but we know that both teams will be super prepared for a great game,’ he said.
‘It will be the game of our lives, as it will be for them too. One thing is clear, we will go there wanting to win just as we have done in these past two games against City.’