Cesar Azpilicueta hails ‘very dangerous’ Antonio Rudiger after Chelsea beat Tottenham to reach Carabao Cup final


Cesar Azpilicueta was delighted Chelsea progressed to the Carabao Cup final
Cesar Azpilicueta was delighted Chelsea progressed to the Carabao Cup final (Picture: Chelsea TV)

Cesar Azpilicueta hailed ‘very dangerous’ Antonio Rudiger after Chelsea beat Tottenham to reach the Carabao Cup final and said it is a ‘pleasure’ to play alongside the Blues contract rebel.

Chelsea defeated Spurs 2-0 in the first leg of their semi-final tie and closed out a comfortable semi-final win in north London on Wednesday night.

Antonio Rudiger’s first-half goal effectively put the tie to bed and confirmed a Wembley date with either Arsenal or Liverpool, who play the first leg of their semi-final on Thursday.

It was Rudiger’s second goal against Spurs this year and his third goal of 2021-22 overall, equalling his best tally for a single season at Chelsea with four months of the campaign remaining.

The Germany defender has been heavily linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge, with his current contract set to expire at the end of the season, but Azpilicueta is seemingly desperate for his teammate to sign a new deal.

The Chelsea captain said: ‘He’s getting very dangerous, scoring goals. He is a great threat on set-plays and in this game he made the difference with the goal and, of course, with his defensive contribution.

‘Toni has developed really well since he arrived. He has had a very big impact. Now he’s even a big threat on set-plays, which is amazing.

Antonio Rudiger helped Chelsea beat Spurs twice in the semi-final
Antonio Rudiger helped Chelsea beat Spurs twice in the semi-final (Picture: Getty)

‘The aggression that he has, the way he plays with the ball, it’s a pleasure to have him in our team.’

Azpilicueta felt Chelsea were by far the ‘better team’ over two legs against London rivals Tottenham and is looking forward to featuring in another cup final.

Since arriving in England in 2012 from Sevilla, Azpilicueta has helped Chelsea win two Premier League titles, the Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup and EFL Cup.

‘Firstly we are happy to get into another final,’ the Spaniard added to Chelsea TV.

‘Of course the game was maybe not our best, we could have scored more goals, we could have controlled the game better, but we got the job done.

‘Through two legs we beat them 3-0 and now we have to prepare for the final. I think we were better than them. In the first leg we could have scored more goals.

‘In the second game we started really well but the second half we didn’t have real chances. We could have made better choices and picked the right player to be more dangerous and we lost a bit of control.

‘So at the end maybe the feeling is a bit different, but of course we’re happy to go through.’

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel, meanwhile, has said he is ‘confident’ Rudiger will put pen to paper and commit his future to the west Londoners.

Rudiger, 28, has been linked with the likes of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Manchester United after entering the final year of his contract at Stamford Bridge.

‘Things are clear. Talks are going on and we are confident,’ said Tuchel. ‘Nothing has changed. Everybody knows the situation, let’s wait and see.

‘We have things to offer and he is the player he is in a Chelsea shirt and a Chelsea environment. He knows that very well.’

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