Thomas Tuchel has found his own Diego Costa after Chelsea defeat Malmo in the CL - TCC View

If Chelsea offered supporters the chance to live inside Antonio Rudiger’s head for the day, the queues would circle around Stamford Bridge.

A brilliant but barmy brain that never fails to amuse or entertain the masses.

One minute, the German will be making a crunching tackle, the next he is zooming off on a mazy dribble.

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Shooting from a ridiculous range has become part of the defender’s customary in-game antics.

Few engross the Chelsea fans on such a regular basis like their bearded centre-back.

Antonio up to no good

Rudiger was up to his familiar tricks last night against Malmo.

After a just few minutes, the 28-year-old decided to leave his mark on Sergio Pena.

At least a second or two after the ball had gone, Rudiger crunched into Pena without any suggestion of being surreptitious.

Somehow escaping a yellow card, the former Roma man simply jogged away with a smile etched across his face.

But the best moment of the evening arrived just before the hour mark.

Unsurprisingly, Rudiger found himself far from his defensive post after pinching possession off Malmo deep towards their own box.

After continuing his run and receiving a pass from Kai Havertz, the stage was set for him to shoot and score.

That was, until, Eric Larsson bundled the Chelsea man from behind, causing the effort to whizz wide of the post.

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

The Blues did earn a penalty for Rudiger’s endeavours, one Jorginho dispatched easily.

In response to being fouled, the centre-half was pictured sticking out his tongue in an almost sadistic fashion.

An image that wouldn’t look out of place in a Halloween costume store.

Photo by Chris Lee – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Diego

Followers of the Champions League holders have not witnessed such a character – or facial expressions – since the days of Diego Costa.

Famed for mischief and menace, the Spaniard earned cult hero status whilst playing for Chelsea.

Even more so than Rudiger, the striker loved to tread the thin line between good and evil.

He was a referee’s nightmare, but somehow only ever received one red card during his three seasons as a Blue.

Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Costa was a jack in the box; a swiss army penknife of tricks and treats.

Figures like himself and Rudiger are becoming a rare bread in football. We must not let them die out.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.