Joe Cole impressed by Chelsea star's 'outstanding' display against Liverpool
Joe Cole has praised Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger’s “outstanding” defensive performance in the League Cup final despite the disappointing penalty shoot-out defeat.
This Liverpool side had scored 11 goals in their last three games prior to Sunday’s final and it is safe to say that Chelsea did really well defensively to stop them from scoring in 120 minutes.
Edouard Mendy still had to make several important saves, unsurprisingly, but the players in front of him still managed to block 10 Liverpool shots throughout the game.
One Chelsea defender, in particular, really impressed Cole.
“It was an incredible game of football. For a 0-0, probably as good as 0-0 I’ve watched,” the former Blues winger told Chelsea TV after the game.
“The quality on the pitch, even the quality of defending from both teams.
“I thought Rudiger was outstanding. How he dealt with Mo Salah, who I think is the best player in the world at the moment.”
“It’s not an end of a story like a Champions League or an FA Cup final,” he added.
“This is part of the story of this season.
“We’ve won trophies already, we’re still going strong in the Champions League and the FA Cup.
“Chelsea had three disallowed goals, at another time, it could have been different.”
While Rudiger was certainly not as busy as Trevoh Chalobah on the other side of the pitch, he was still as reliable as he has been in the past year.
Perhaps, his consistency might have forced Jurgen Klopp’s men to focus their attack away from his side of the pitch.
As Cole pointed out, Rudiger also played a significant role in nullifying Salah.
To put it into perspective, the in-form Egypt international finished the game without any shot on target.