‘He’s the hardest man in football’ — Chelsea legend boasts about Blues star who kept Mo Salah quiet

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With a man down all through the second half against Liverpool, the Anfield faithful would have expected to see their star man Mohamed Salah cause havoc to the Chelsea defence, but the Egyptian was quiet all through the game as Antonio Rudiger marshalled him brilliantly.

The Chelsea team fought like lions and their brave performance has since been hailed by many.

Former Chelsea winger Pat Nevin was particularly full of praise for Antonio Rudiger for the way he silenced the threat of Salah.

He wrote in his column for the official club website: “The team sheet was littered with heroes and no single player can be congratulated over any other, but I will single out Toni Rudiger for consideration.

“I was sitting next to a reporter who openly supported Liverpool and hadn’t seen this Chelsea team in the flesh too often. We got to chatting before the game and on the subject of Rudiger, I told him that ‘I could not remember a player ever getting by him on a one-on-one.’ I added that this was unlikely to change today. ‘What even against Mo Salah?’

“I was bold. ‘Yes, even against the brilliant Mo.’ Once again our manic marker didn’t let me or anyone down. The game still had 20 minutes to go when the die-hard Red leant over and said, ‘No one even looks close to getting past him!’”

“One day someone will, nobody is perfect, but he must be just about the hardest guy in the business to beat just now. A huge part of my job in my career was to go past people and I am not sure if I have witnessed many better at stopping even brilliant players in those one-on-one scenarios, from back then until right now.”

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Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.