Thomas Tuchel says things “got heated” between Antonio Rudiger and Kepa Arrizabalaga during a Chelsea training session on Sunday before the pair “cleared the air” immediately.
As first reported by the Daily Telegraph, tempers flared at Cobham the day after Chelsea’s shock 5-2 defeat by West Brom on Saturday, a result that ended their 14-match unbeaten start under Tuchel.
Rudiger was sent to the changing rooms after a late tackle on Kepa caused some pushing and shoving between the pair, but he later apologised to his team-mate.
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Speaking at a press conference before the first leg of his side’s Champions League quarter-final against Porto on Wednesday, Chelsea head coach Tuchel said: “It had nothing to do with the defeat.
“It was just an incident in training and it got heated between Toni and Kepa, so we calmed the situation down immediately.
“These are things we don’t want to accept but these things can happen in little games, in little groups. They are all competitors and they want to win training matches.”
Tuchel added neither Rudiger nor Kepa would be punished after the players immediately sorted it out between themselves.
“The reaction was not OK, but how the guys handled the situation was amazing and showed how much respect they have for each other,” he said.
“They sorted it out directly and cleared the air immediately. We spoke about the issue and then it was solved.
“They sorted it out straight after training in a very humble and direct way, and it showed me they have very good characters.”
Tuchel: Pulisic and Kante fit for Porto tie
Tuchel confirmed Christian Pulisic and N’Golo Kante are fit enough to make Chelsea’s matchday squad for the first leg of Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final against Porto.
Pulisic suffered a hamstring injury during Chelsea’s loss to West Brom and had to be replaced by Mason Mount at half-time.
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Kante, who missed the defeat after also suffering a hamstring problem while on international duty with France, looked set to miss a few weeks but will now be included in Tuchel’s squad for the game in Seville – as will forward Tammy Abraham.
“They are fit enough to be in the squad and will be in the squad – all three. That’s good news,” Tuchel said.
“Christian went off before an injury could happen. He said at half-time he feels like if he continues there will be an injury coming, so we decided to take him off.
“Tammy is in the squad and N’Golo just did a test and will be on the bench. He feels very comfortable, comfortable enough to be on the bench.”
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