Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has defended Antonio Rudiger‘s integrity following criticism from Jose Mourinho for his role in Son Heung-Min‘s red card during the Blues’ 2-0 win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday.
Tottenham forward Son was sent off after kicking out at Rudiger following a VAR check. After the match, Spurs boss Mourinho had suggested Rudiger should “stand up and play.”
In the same game, Rudiger had been the victim of alleged racist abuse from someone in the crowd and Lampard said he was unhappy for the Germany international’s integrity to be put into question.
“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,” he said in a news conference ahead of Chelsea’s Boxing Day clash with Southampton.
“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.”
Meanwhile, Lampard said club captain Cesar Azpilicueta suffered a knock during the win over Tottenham.
“Azpilicueta had a small issue at the end of the game, hence he came off when he never comes off,” he added. “We need to check that one this morning.
“Other than that, we’re pretty much where we are, but there were some bumps and bruises so there’s nothing clear. We’ll see.”