Thomas Tuchel speaks on Antonio Rudiger’s reaction after bust-up with Kepa in Chelsea training

Thomas Tuchel has praised Antonio Rudiger for issuing an immediate apology to Kepa Arrizabalaga following their bust-up during Chelsea’s training session.

The two players were pulled apart during a small-sided game in Sunday’s training after Kepa took exception to a strong challenge from Rudiger.

The Germany international, who had clashed with Cesar Azpilicueta in a training session earlier this season, is understood to have apologised to Kepa following the incident.

And Tuchel believes Rudiger was ‘strong’ and ‘brave’ for his decision to clear the air with the Chelsea goalkeeper.

Asked if the incident was serious between Rudiger and Kepa, Tuchel replied: ‘I would tell you if it was so but it was not.

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‘It had nothing to do with the defeat. It was just an incident in training, it got heated up between Toni and Kepa.

‘We calmed the situation down immediately. I don’t want to play down how artificial, these are things we don’t want to accept and things are normally unusual but they can happen in little games, in little groups.

‘They are all competitors and want to win training matches. So things got a little too heated up, the reaction was not okay.

‘But the reaction to it, how the guys handled the situation, especially Toni and especially Kepa was amazing and showed how much respect they have for each other because they sorted it out directly.

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‘They cleared the air immediately, this was the most important so there was nothing left one day after.

‘We spoke about the issue and then it was solved. This is the main part, that it did not stay with us and it was not awkward situations, the players didn’t go home and it was not solved.

‘The players sorted it out after training in a very honest and humble and very direct way that showed me they have good, good character.’

Asked if either player will face punishment for their conduct, Tuchel replied: ‘No, no punishment so far because of the way they dealt with it.

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‘The reaction was an immediate reaction, they made it clear for everybody about what happened.

‘Toni sorted it out directly which was also absolutely necessary and was a strong and brave thing to do, and also the right thing to do, because that cleared the air immediately.

‘So we continued and made our point clear from the club and me that we are happy with the way they dealt with it, these are things we don’t like to accept but for the moment and for this situation there was no more further punishment.’

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