Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger was sent home early from training after a bust-up with goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. The incident comes less than 24 hours after the Blues slumped to a heavy 5-2 defeat at the hands of West Bromwich Albion. The result ended Thomas Tuchel’s 14-game undefeated streak and put a dent in Chelsea’s Champions League aspirations for next season. The manager had called for calm after the shock result.
The altercation happened in a small-sided game when Rudiger hit a late tackle on the Spaniard. The two had a heated argument as a result that ended in a shoving contest, forcing Tuchel to send Rudiger to the showers five minutes early. Other players had to separate the two when it got physical. Arrizabalaga stayed on and completed the entire training.
Rudiger later apologized to his teammate and manager, and the matter is reportedly resolved. The two, however, were not the only ones who had a spat in the Chelsea team in the recent past. Club captain Cesar Azpilicueta had an argument with Reece James in the dressing room during the club’s 5-2 defeat to the Baggies. James was partly to blame for conceding the second goal.
Thomas Tuchel will be hoping that his team gets it together ahead of the side’s crunch Champions League tie against Porto on Wednesday.
Rudiger, who has impressed since Tuchel’s appointment, is a big personality in the club. However, he did not have the best of relationships with former boss Frank Lampard and assistant Jody Morris.
Tuchel was appointed as the Chelsea boss in September. The club had sacked Frank Lampard over a run of bad form at the time. The German will need to ensure that these bust-ups are a rarity if they are to qualify for the Champions League next season. The race for the top four has heated up as Chelsea, Liverpool, West Ham United, Everton, and Tottenham Hotspur are all in contention for the fourth spot.