Frank Lampard praised Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger after his midweek performance in the Champions League and revealed he had no doubts about giving him his first appearance of the season.
The Blues wrapped up a 4-0 away win on Wednesday night in the Champions League group stages against Russian side Krasnodar, who proved to be a tough opposition that just lacked a clinical edge.
Callum Hudson-Odoi’s first-half goal gave Chelsea an advantage and they had to soak up a few Krasnodar chances in the second period, but they eventually blew them away with three quick-fire late goals.
Timo Werner dispatched a penalty, while Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic were also on the scoresheet.
Lampard gave a glowing verdict when asked about the contribution of Rudiger at the back and explained he was an important part of the backline.
The 27-year-old centre-back has been down the Chelsea pecking order in recent times, but he was handed his first club appearance of the season and he impressed during the 90 minutes.
“I am very pleased today with the performance of Rudiger and Kurt Zouma. They can take credit for the clean sheet amongst other players,” Lampard told Football.London.
“I didn’t have doubts over Toni. His training and professionalism has been very clear from the beginning since I have been here and certainly in recent weeks. I was very pleased with his concentration levels and the whole back four and five with Mendy as well.”
Chelsea have five senior options at centre-back within their squad at Stamford Bridge and that means Lampard has almost an impossible task trying to keep them all happy.
Germany international Rudiger was recalled to the fold to help the Blues keep another clean sheet against Krasnodar and he may perhaps be in line for more minutes, as Lampard was extremely positive in his post-match assessment of his performance.