Chelsea star Antonio Rudiger breaks silence over being axed against Southampton

Antonio Rudiger breaks silence after being axed by Antonio Conte

Antonio Rudiger has told German television he has "no idea" why he was left out for Chelsea's win at Southampton on Saturday.

A week before, Rudiger slammed his Chelsea teammates and questioned the team's tactics after the frustrating 1-1 draw at home to West Ham. And David Luiz, now sidelined with a knee injury, was replaced by Andreas Christensen in the starting XI in November after coming into conflict with his head coach during a training session at Cobham.

Germany global Rudiger was replaced by Andreas Christensen in the starting XI and not on the bench despite being fully fit, with Conte saying it was a "tactical decision".

"Probably. But I didn't mean it that way", he said when asked whether he was dropped due to his comments. But I didn't mean it that way.

Despite the impressive turnaround, Chelsea remain unlikely to qualify for next season's Champions League by finishing in the top four.

'It was a fact, it wasn't about the tactics.

On the nature of his relationship with Conte, he said: "It's just normal from my side".

"I must be honest and I was very angry with our first half because we did not show great desire, great will to fight and will to play in the right way".

The Hammers equalised with their first real chance to finish the game 1-1 at the Bridge, and Rudiger was nowhere to be seen for this weekend's feature.

But when it was put to him that Chelsea's spirited response at St Mary's was a sign that his players are still fighting for him, Conte replied: "I can't accept this [concept], because I was a player".

Rudiger has been one of our most improved players this season.

'I think it would be a good reconciliation [with the supporters] with the FA Cup'.

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