Antonio Rudiger has been accused of having a potential summer transfer away from Chelsea in mind as he bottled up his battle with Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema.
The Blues centre-back was guilty of a poor ‘half-challenge’ against France star Benzema to score his hat-trick in the 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge.
In the Champions League quarter-final, trophy holders Chelsea locked horns with the Spanish giants looking to make the most of the first leg at home.
But the game didn’t go as planned as Benzema once again showed his importance to the 13 winners despite his age.
The 34-year-old, whose Real boss Carlo Ancelotti is ‘aging like fine wine’, netted a hat-trick which included two exceptional headers in the space of three minutes in the first half.
There was an element of luck to his goal which secured the match ball, as Blues keeper Edouard Mendy and Rudiger had a calamitous moment.
After the ball fell to him following a clearance from a Real player, 30-year-old goalkeeper Mendy had time and options to clear the ball.
But his pass to the German defender was far too light, and it gave Benzema the chance to steal the ball.
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While it was a bad pass from the CAN-winning goalkeeper, Rudiger had the opportunity to bail out his goalkeeper.
But his tackle was not strong enough to dispossess Benzema, who then had the simple task of putting the ball into an empty net.
Speaking on Thursday’s talkSPORT Breakfast, Gabby Agbonlahor offered her thoughts and felt that Rudiger is considering a potential transfer this summer and pulled out of a tough tackle to avoid any type of injury.
“I know it was a bad pass on Mendy, but Rudiger’s tackle was someone who didn’t want to get injured,” said the former Aston Villa captain.
“It felt like he had a move ready and he didn’t want to get injured.”
Former Chelsea defender Mario Melchiot didn’t entirely agree with that statement but agreed Rudiger could have done more to stop the endemic Frenchman.
“I can’t really say that, because he’s normally so tough, he doesn’t care,” Melchiot told talkSPORT.
“But the way he went there, I agree with you, he could have been tougher.
“And he left with his left foot instead of his right and normally if you tackle with your right, and you go all the way [you would win the ball].
“Everything was half, half ball, half challenge, and that’s why Benzema [scored].”
Rudiger is out of contract at Chelsea this summer and has been widely linked with an exit from Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.
The Germany international is reportedly wanted by a host of suitors, with Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain being the main suitors, although it has been claimed Manchester United could seek to keep him in the Premier League by offering Rudiger a move at Old Trafford.
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