Antonio Rüdiger may only be a rotational option for the three-man defensive back line at the moment, but no one can fault his dedication to the cause after Wednesday’s tilt against Swansea City, from which the summer signing emerged with a literal hole in his boot and a bloody wound on his foot. And of course the winning goal.
That’s quite the hat-trick!
Bloody boots, indeed! (That’s probably a reference, and a fairly obscure one, to Brazilian hard rock band Sepultura!)
Rüdiger’s pain and suffering — not to mention the squad’s patience and perseverance — received its proper reward eventually with three points and a fourth win in five games to keep pace with the rest of the top teams in the Premier League. It was the minimum expected outcome, but it was welcome nonetheless.
"It was clear from the start that we would have more ball possession and we also had a few chances but we were a bit unlucky in the first half. I think we started well at the start of the second half and in the end one chance went in, my goal, and I am very happy about it."
"I said before it would not be an easy game because Swansea would stand back which they did good, but we were patient and the key also was we did not concede that many counter-attacks."
"You can never feel comfortable because the Premier League is a competitive league and the opposition can cause danger. Swansea had danger with [Wilfried] Bony up front, he is physically very strong but we made it good."
"My goal was instinct. I had a bit of luck that the ball came there but it did and I am very happy. I am more happy that we have the three points but to score a winning goal is a good feeling."
Rüdiger got the start in place of usual right-sided center back César Azpilicueta, who was in fact rested for the first time in almost two years, after 74 consecutive Premier League starts. The 24-year-old deputized capably for the Vice-captain, knowing that even if he’s not first-choice at the moment, he will have plenty of chances to prove himself with the fixture list as full as possible.
"We have some momentum and that is why we also have to rotate and everyone needs to get in their best form. We have to keep going and winning."
"Football is about competition and I know we have good players like Christensen, Cahill, Azpilicueta and David Luiz, and it is important if I get the chance to try to help the team like this."
"I am very happy because my aim is always to help the team and if I get a goal like this it is always very good."
-Antonio Rüdiger; Source: Chelsea FC
Keep it up, Rüdi!