Rudiger: They gave us the motivation

Toni Rudiger has revealed that seeing Leicester celebrating their FA Cup final win at the weekend gave the Chelsea players all the inspiration required for securing a big three points last night.

The Blues defeated the Foxes 2-1 at Stamford Bridge to move above them and into third in the Premier League table with just a game remaining, as the race for the top four hots up. Defeat for Liverpool at Burnley this evening would guarantee us a top-four finish.

Rudiger opened the scoring for Thomas Tuchel’s Blues, before a Jorginho penalty turned out to be the eventual winner despite Kelechi Iheanacho pulling a goal back for the visitors to set up a nervy finish.

 

Tensions were running high throughout the game and things threatened to boil over at one stage following a late Ricardo challenge on Ben Chilwell, with Rudiger and his team-mates running in to offer their support and calm things down.

The German, however, revealed that seeing the Foxes celebrating at Wembley - including images of Daniel Amartey throwing a Chelsea pennant to the ground – was used as the catalyst for such a strong Chelsea showing in front of 8,000 Blues supporters.

‘We wanted to win this game so much,’ said Rudiger. ‘Especially after losing the final.

‘I think for me, we were a bit unlucky at Wembley but on the other hand we didn’t have the same power and hunger that we showed [last night]. That performance was like day and night.

‘We had a place in the top four on the line and we wanted to show to them [Leicester] that we are fighting. Unfortunately, a few of their players don’t know how to celebrate respectfully and we had to punish them, 100 per cent.’

The game could have been out of sight if not for VAR not awarding a penalty for a foul on Timo Werner who also saw two goals chalked off, one for offside and then another for handball.

Rudiger insists we must learn to take our chances but reiterated again how the motivation for this win came from within the Foxes camp.

‘In the past few months, I think our biggest problem has been not putting away our many chances,’ added our goalscoring-defender.

‘Still I was confident in my team tonight because we were on it from the first minute. After we lost the final, we all spoke about how important this game was and we were really on it.

‘I have to say, some people from their camp gave us additional motivation from Saturday. Congratulations to them for winning the FA Cup final, celebrate and everything but do not disrespect the club’s history.’

The defender’s goal was his first of the season and, coincidently, came against the same side he netted his previous two against – a 2-2 draw at the King Power Stadium in February of last year.

We now head into Sunday’s final game against Aston Villa knowing what is required to secure a top-four place and Rudiger has called on the Blues to finish the job.

‘I don’t know why I always score against Leicester but I’m happy to!’ Rudiger beamed after the game. 'I’m not sure why these things work out in the way they do but it was a really happy moment to score and to get the win.’

‘It’s in our hands. That has always been clear. It’s in our hands and it’s up to us to see the job through now. I think it’s the Chelsea way, to take it to the last game and make it interesting! It’s in our hands and we will give everything to finish in the top four.’

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