After helping Chelsea grab a vital victory over Manchester City, Antonio Rudiger heaped special praise on two of his teammates.
Kurt Zouma and Billy Gilmour got a ‘big up’ from Antonio Rudiger for their roles in Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Manchester City.
Despite Raheem Sterling’s first-half opener, Edouard Mendy kept Chelsea in the game by saving Sergio Aguero’s Panenka penalty. The Blues then launched a second-half, with Hakim Ziyech and Marcos Alonso’s goals grabbing a spectacular win at the Etihad Stadium.
It was a huge result for the Blues in their Premier League top-four bid and for the upcoming Champions League final on May 29, where they’ll face City again.
But Zouma, who denied Sterling a potential winning goal after coming off the bench, and Gilmour, who made his second Premier League start this season, were Rudiger’s standout players.
Kurt Zouma with a brilliant tackle there, momentum easily could’ve swung back to City after 2 straight disallowed goals for Chelsea.
— The Beautiful Game (@BeautifulGameJS) May 8, 2021
“For me, I have to big up to Kurt and also to Billy Gilmour,” the German told Chelsea TV.
“I think he grew into this game. He was very, very important to us.”
Callum Hudson-Odoi, meanwhile, had a match-winning goal ruled out for offside after replacing Ziyech as a second-half substitute.
It was Alonso who instead grabbed the priceless winner in injury time. After being frozen out by Frank Lampard earlier in the season, the full-back, much like Rudiger, has reclaimed his spot in the team under Thomas Tuchel.
— Callum Hudson-Odoi (@Calteck10) May 8, 2021
“Also Callum who came in, there was directly fire inside, also Marcos,” continued Rudiger.
“As we said, the group, even the guys who are on the bench and are not playing that often, they showed they are also very important and they showed they can be the difference.
“I know sometimes it’s frustrated to sit on the bench and everything because I’ve experienced this myself, but you always have to keep going.”