Shropshire Star

Frank Lampard defends Antonio Rudiger from Jose Mourinho criticism

Mourinho told Rudiger to “stand up and play”.

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Frank Lampard has mounted a strong defence of Antonio Rudiger in the face of criticism from Jose Mourinho over Son Heung-min’s red card in Chelsea’s derby win at Tottenham.

Lampard plans talks with Rudiger on Christmas Eve to reassure the Germany star of his and Chelsea’s solidarity over the defender’s allegations he suffered racist abuse at Spurs.

Tottenham boss Mourinho told Rudiger to “stand up and play man” in questioning the Chelsea centre-back’s reaction to being kicked by Son that brought the South Korea forward a red card on Sunday.

Spurs have since failed with their appeal against Son’s sending off, and Lampard has hit back at Mourinho, insisting Rudiger should be under no kind of scrutiny over his dismissal during Chelsea’s 2-0 win at Tottenham.

Asked for a response to Mourinho’s criticism of Rudiger, Lampard said: “With Toni, in this incident when he’s having to post after the game about something we know is a huge deal (racism), I think to question his integrity in that time is disappointing for sure.

“Pretty universally, certainly what I heard in the commentary and the post-match reflection was that the Son incident was a red card.

“It wasn’t brutal but it was instinctive that warrants a red card in the modern day.

“It was pretty clear that was the case. I wouldn’t question Toni’s integrity on that.

“So I do defend Toni firmly on it.”

Chelsea have pledged to work with authorities over an incident which led to the arrest of a Blues fan, following alleged abuse of Son, and have warned they are prepared to issue individual stadium bans to combat the problem.

Rudiger reported being subjected to monkey chanting during Chelsea’s 2-0 derby win at Spurs on Sunday, where Willian’s brace handed Lampard’s men a fine derby victory.

The Professional Footballers’ Association has called for a government-led inquiry into racism in the sport in the wake of the incident.

Lampard will speak to Rudiger in a bid to show his support for the Germany star.

“I spoke to him briefly after the game, but I haven’t had a one-on-one to speak to him about the incident as such,” said Lampard.

“I saw Toni’s social media post, I thought it was well put, from the heart and something that he feels very strongly about.

“I’ll speak to him today when I see him.

“I would like to think the players know I am with them on anything like this.

“I’ll have the same conversation with Toni that I had with Tammy after the incident earlier this year.

“And I will tell them and take the time to make sure he knows I support him, and that I support all my players in this situation.”

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