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Why Antonio Rudiger Surprised Thomas Tuchel in Chelsea's Win Over Leicester City

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel was surprised by centre-back Antonio Rudiger in his side's encounter with Leicester on Saturday afternoon because of how far up the pitch he was.

Tuchel has made it clear, since his arrival at the club that he wants his side to play a German-style 'gegenpressing' game that involves counter-pressing the opposition team whenever you are out of position.

Because of this tactic, it is not uncommon to see the likes of Antonio Rudiger far up the pitch, trying to press the opposition team.


Tuchel has since expressed his surprise to see Rudiger so far up the pitch when N'Golo Kante scored against Leicester in the Blues' 3-0 win at the King Power Stadium.

"I was surprised that Toni Rudiger was the first one to be there to congratulate and hug him," Tuchel explained, as quoted by "I thought: 'How did this happen so fast because N'Golo scored from the 18-yard box?'

"If you look at the goal in detail, you will see that while N'Golo is driving forward with the ball, Toni is closing the space and doing this kind of invisible work to close a forward down – I think [Ademola] Lookman – who is in a corridor.

"Toni goes to close him down because if this shot is blocked and the ball comes there, he will be the first one to counter-press.

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"He takes the responsibility for that coverage so that Lookman can't take the ball free, that he can't take the ball and initiate a counter-attack that maybe ends with [Jamie] Vardy and a goal.

"So this is the kind of work we're not watching from the others but they are taking care of the role.

"At this moment, Toni is doing this very humbly because how big are the chances N'Golo scores from his left foot? They are not big so can't just step back and watch.

"He is doing his part and this is an example that comes to my mind [of the invisible work]. "

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