Rio Ferdinand defends Antonio Rudiger’s post-match reaction
The Blues trailed Los Blancos 3-1 after the first leg. However, they put up a brave fight at the Santiago Bernabeu to score the first three goals of the match, which put them 4-3 up on aggregate.
However, an 80th-minute strike from Rodrygo and Karim Benzema’s extra-time winner saw the 13-time champions knockout the holders on the night.
Antonio Rudiger, who scored a goal on the night and played a brilliant overall game, was visibly distraught after the defeat. He even shrugged away David Alaba, who came to console him after the game.
Defending Rudiger’s reaction, former Manchester United captain Rio Ferdinand said (reported via Metro):
“It’s emotional, man. And I don’t think he’d necessarily want to react like that or see those pictures. But the feeling there you can’t control it. We’ve all been there after big games, I’ve said and done things that you regret, you think: ‘that’s not me, that’s not my normal personality.’ But this is what football means to people.”
“If you see changing rooms after games… imagine that changing room there. There will be things going flying. I hit walls, I ended up kicking people at times!”
Ferdinand drew on an incident from his own career, concluding:
“I got done at Chelsea kicking someone by accident, you don’t mean it you just lose your head, you don’t mean anything by it. But I like to see that because that’s the emotion, there’s a care and a desire to win and they know what it means and how close they were.”
Chelsea will be upset at having thrown away the game from a winning position
Chelsea did the impossible when they overturned a two-goal deficit to take a 3-0 lead at the Bernabeu on the night and a 4-3 advantage on aggregate. However, a moment of magic from Luka Modric opened the scoring for Real Madrid on the night, after which they went on to snatch the tie 5-4 across both legs.
Fellow pundit Steve McManaman added on Rudiger’s reaction:
“He angry, he’s upset. I mean, you imagine the range of emotions for us [just watching], but the range of emotions today was everything. You’re out of the competition, 3-1 down, suddenly play great and you’re going through to the next round and 3-0 up, and then that happens again. You can understand. No wonder Thomas Tuchel is getting greyer, it’s sad.”
Chelsea will now shift their focus to their FA Cup semi-final against Crystal Palace on Sunday, April 17.