Thomas Tuchel says things “heated up” between Antonio Rudiger and Kepa Arrizabalaga in a training session at Chelsea on Sunday before the duo “cleared the air” immediately.
As first reported by the The telegraph of the daySpirits erupted in Cobham the day after Chelsea’s shocking 5-2 loss to West Brom on Saturday, a result that ended their 14-game unbeaten start under Tuchel.
Rudiger was sent to the locker room after a late tackle on Kepa caused a scramble between the two, but he later apologized to his teammate.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of his side’s Champions League quarter-final first leg against Porto on Wednesday, Chelsea head coach Tuchel said: “It has nothing to do with to do with defeat.
“It was just an incident in training and it heated up between Toni and Kepa, so we immediately calmed it down.
“These are things that we don’t want to accept, but these things can happen in small games, in small groups. They are all competitors and they want to win practice games.”
Tuchel added that neither Rudiger nor Kepa would be punished after the players immediately sorted out the issue between them.
“The reaction wasn’t good, but the way the guys handled it was amazing and showed how much they respect each other,” he said.
“They fixed the problem directly and cleaned the air immediately. We talked about the problem and then it was solved.
“They fixed it right after practice in a very humble and straightforward way, and it showed me that they have some really good characters.”
Tuchel: Pulisic and Kante fit for the Porto tie
Tuchel has confirmed Christian Pulisic and N’Golo Kante are fit enough to be part of Chelsea squad for Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg against Porto.
Pulisic suffered a hamstring injury in Chelsea’s loss to West Brom and had to be replaced by Mason Mount at halftime.
Kante, who missed the loss after also suffering from a hamstring problem while on international duty with France, looked set to miss a few weeks but will now be included in Tuchel’s squad for the game in Sevilla – just like striker Tammy Abraham.
“They are fit enough to be part of the squad and will be in the squad – all three of them. That’s good news,” Tuchel said.
“Christian left before an injury happened. He said at halftime that he feels like if he continues there will be an injury to come so we decided to take him off. .
“Tammy is in the squad and N’Golo has just had a test and will be on the bench. He feels very comfortable, comfortable enough to be on the bench.”