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Chelsea provides frosty response for Antonio Rudiger's omission

Chelsea provides frosty response for Antonio Rudigers omission

Antonio Conte insists Rudiger's absence was not injury-related

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has revealed that Antonio Rudiger's omission from the matchday squad against Southampton was a 'tactical decision'.

The Germany international was left out altogether during the recent Premier League triumph over the Saints, where Gary Cahill was picked in the starting lineup.

The Blues had to secure the points in the hard way after conceding twice in the first 60 minutes with Olivier Giroud stealing the stole with a splendid brace witnessed on either side of Eden Hazard's left-footed strike.

Speaking after the game, Conte was undoubtedly delighted with the response from the team, and when quizzed upon Rudiger's absence, the Italian said: "No [there is no injury], it was a tactical decision."

Obviously, Conte has not been impressed with Rudiger's recent showing in the top-flight, but the defender is likely to return to the fray sooner rather than later with David Luiz seemingly sidelined for the rest of the season.

Luiz has yet to recover from a series of knee and ankle problems, whilst young graduate Ethan Ampadu has also been ruled out for the campaign with an ankle fracture.