Thomas Tuchel says he will NOT punish Antonio Rudiger or Kepa for their training ground scrap as he admits the session ‘warmed up … it wasn’t OK’ and was ‘serious’, but he’s not surprised by incidents of moles leaking at Chelsea
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has confirmed he will not punish Antonio Rudiger and Kepa Arrizabalaga after their failures on the training ground.
The pair took blows in practice on Sunday in the aftermath of Chelsea’s humiliating 5-2 defeat to relegation candidates West Brom.
Both players were involved in a conflict on the training ground that Tuchel has now described as ‘very serious’ after the pair had to be pulled apart by shocked teammates.
Speaking of the incident for the first time, Tuchel has admitted that he was pleased with how both players handled the aftermath of the fight, showing “ strength and respect ” to quickly bury the hatchet.
Thomas Tuchel has spoken out for the first time about Antonio Rudiger and Kepa’s training fight
Rudiger (L) was fired from training after colliding with goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga (R)
At his pre-game press conference ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League match with Porto, Tuchel said of the bust-up on Tuesday: “ It had nothing to do with the defeat. [to West Brom]
It was just an incident during practice that heated up for Toni and Kepa. We calmed the situation, these things are normally uncommon but can happen, they are all competitors in all actions and they got heated up.
‘How they responded to it was amazing and showed how much respect they have for me and for each other because they figured it out right away, they cleared the air and we talked about it right after training and that was it. In a way that showed me their good character.
Tuchel says Rudiger showed him respect by taking immediate action to fix the ugly situation
When asked what action he would take, Tuchel insisted, “So far no punishment for the way they handled it.
It was an immediate response and Toni sorted it out right away, which was absolutely necessary. It was the strong and the right thing to do, it cleared the sky immediately and we are happy with how they handled it.
‘These are things we don’t like to accept, but that’s all there is to it in this situation.’
He went on to confirm that Rudiger is ‘absolutely’ expected to appear mid-week, ahead of the Champions League quarter-final crunch final.
Tuchel turned his attention to Wednesday’s showdown with Porto and cast a more positive tone.
The German confirmed he has a full squad at his disposal, while indicating that Chelsea will not specifically prepare as Porto does not have two main forwards.
“We had an almost similar situation with Atletico, with players missing and coming back,” added Tuchel.
‘We will never approach a match by looking at who is missing and decide the match. We must be fully focused and aware of our strengths. ‘