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Antonio Rudiger accused of bottling up Karim Benzema battle to ‘avoid injury which could hamper potential transfer’ as ex-Chelsea star says defender ‘could have done more’ to stop hero Real Madrid hat-trick


Antonio Rudiger has been accused of having a potential summer transfer away from Chelsea in mind as he bottled up his battle with Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema.

The Blues centre-back was guilty of a poor ‘half-challenge’ against France star Benzema to score his hat-trick in the 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge.

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Rudiger’s challenge on Benzema is in question

In the Champions League quarter-final, trophy holders Chelsea locked horns with the Spanish giants looking to make the most of the first leg at home.

But the game didn’t go as planned as Benzema once again showed his importance to the 13 winners despite his age.

The 34-year-old, whose Real boss Carlo Ancelotti is ‘aging like fine wine’, netted a hat-trick which included two exceptional headers in the space of three minutes in the first half.

There was an element of luck to his goal which secured the match ball, as Blues keeper Edouard Mendy and Rudiger had a calamitous moment.

After the ball fell to him following a clearance from a Real player, 30-year-old goalkeeper Mendy had time and options to clear the ball.

But his pass to the German defender was far too light, and it gave Benzema the chance to steal the ball.

Antonio Rudiger accused of bottling up Karim Benzema battle to ‘avoid injury which could hamper potential transfer’ as ex-Chelsea star says defender ‘could have done more’ to stop hero Real Madrid hat-trick

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Mendy and Rudiger have been so consistent for the Blues this season but they had a moment they will both want to quickly forget

While it was a bad pass from the CAN-winning goalkeeper, Rudiger had the opportunity to bail out his goalkeeper.

But his tackle was not strong enough to dispossess Benzema, who then had the simple task of putting the ball into an empty net.

Speaking on Thursday’s talkSPORT breakfast, former Aston Villa captain Gabby Agbonlahor offered his thoughts and felt that Rudiger was considering a potential summer transfer and pulled out of a tackle difficult to avoid any type of injury.

“I know it was a bad pass on Mendy, but Rudiger’s tackle was someone who didn’t want to get hurt, like he had a move ready, and he didn’t want to get hurt,” he said. -he declares.

Antonio Rudiger accused of bottling up Karim Benzema battle to ‘avoid injury which could hamper potential transfer’ as ex-Chelsea star says defender ‘could have done more’ to stop hero Real Madrid hat-trick

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Benzema has become just the fourth player to score 80 or more Champions League goals, joining Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski in the elite list.

Former Chelsea defender Mario Melchiot didn’t entirely agree with that statement but agreed Rudiger could have done more to stop the endemic Frenchman.

“I can’t really say that, because he’s normally so tough, he doesn’t care,” Melchiot told talkSPORT.

“But the way he went there, I agree with you, he could have been tougher.

“And he left with his left foot instead of his right and normally if you tackle with your right, and you go all the way [you would win the ball].

Antonio Rudiger accused of bottling up Karim Benzema battle to ‘avoid injury which could hamper potential transfer’ as ex-Chelsea star says defender ‘could have done more’ to stop hero Real Madrid hat-trick

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Rudiger is set to leave Chelsea this summer when his contract expires

“Everything was half, half ball, half challenge, and that’s why Benzema [scored].”

Rudiger is out of contract at Chelsea this summer and has been widely linked with an exit from Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.

The Germany international is reportedly wanted by a host of suitors, with Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain being the main suitors, although it has been claimed Manchester United could seek to keep him in the Premier League by offering Rudiger a move at Old Trafford.

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