Maurizio Sarri’s “terrifying” postmatch reaction to the midweek defeat at Wolves inspired his players to beat Manchester City on Saturday, Antonio Rudiger has said.
N’Golo Kante and David Luiz scored at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea inflicted City’s first Premier League defeat of the season.
A determined performance, which saw Chelsea withstand spells of sustained pressure, was in sharp contrast to the 2-1 defeat at Molineux, after which Sarri questioned his players and accused some of having “too much confidence.”
“After the Wolves game, he was terrifying,” Rudiger said. “He was going crazy. But that was OK, because we shouldn’t have lost this match.
“The day after, he was very calm and clear-minded. He spoke with us and made it clear that we have to believe in ourselves. He wanted us to go into the City game looking for the win.”
Chelsea sat deeper against City and countered using the pace of Willian, Pedro Rodriguez and Eden Hazard, with the Belgium international deployed as a “false nine.”
And Rudiger said they had been aware that they would need to change their mindset to beat City. “We spoke together,” he added. “We all knew what was going on, we didn’t have to lie to ourselves — the mentality was the problem.
“One of the things that made us strong in difficult moments last season was that we knew how to suffer. This season, because things were so good, we were thinking: ‘We don’t need to suffer.’
“Two teams, Tottenham and Wolves, proved us wrong. That’s why, against Manchester City, everyone saw a team that was ready to fight. We wanted to take the supporters with us and we did that.
“We were playing beautiful football at the start of the season, but that doesn’t mean you forget the ugly side of it — winning tackles, tracking back, doing everything defensively.
“Against Manchester City we were very clinical, which was also important. That has been missing over the last month, but against City we did something out of nothing.”
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