Leicester City’s 1-0 victory in Saturday’s FA Cup final should have already given Chelsea plenty of motivation for last night’s “second final” in the Premier League. But then a video emerged online of Daniel Amartey throwing the Chelsea pennant on the ground as if he were The Lonely Island, and that made it personal for many a Chelsea player as well.
Thomas Tuchel didn’t use that specific incident as motivation, but admitted after Chelsea’s 2-1 win that “the players were well aware” and that it gave them a bit of extra “feeling for revenge”.
Antonio Rüdiger was chief among them, evident in both the fire with which he played on the pitch (scoring a goal, being a brick wall, and was that a Zidane pirouette?) and the relish with which he approached (some might say instigated) the little sideline scuffle late on that saw at one point multiple Chelsea players having a go at Amartey, including Thiago Silva, Mason Mount, Édouard Mendy, and others.
This concludes the handbags ratings. If you're still reading this, I am extremely sorry.— Dmitry (@ChicagoDmitry) May 19, 2021
After the game, Rüdiger in his interview with Chelsea TV had a message for Amartey as well.
“Unfortunately, some people of them don’t know how to celebrate. We had to punish them, 100%.
“Some people from them gave us a bit more motivation from Saturday. Congratulations to them, they won and everything. Celebrate and everything but don’t disrespect club history. This is a bit bigger than you.”
-Antonio Rüdiger; source: Chelsea TV via Football.London
Rudiger call Amartey’s name stop cutting corners pic.twitter.com/HErqat8HXN— Osato (@osatoigbinigie) May 18, 2021
That settles the score for now, with Chelsea likely having the last laugh with Champions League qualification at Leicester’s expense as well (assuming we don’t throw it away against Villa and Liverpool also win out).
Next season’s games will be extra juicy.