Chelsea star Rudiger says Blues wanted to ‘punish’ Leicester after ugly brawl involving rival who ‘disrespected’ them (VIDEO)

Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has revealed his team were gunning for revenge against Leicester after the Foxes’ controversial FA Cup celebrations, as a touchline brawl capped the pair’s Premier League meeting on Tuesday.

Chelsea exacted some retribution for their Wembley heartache by beating Leicester at Stamford Bridge three days later, thanks to a second-half goal from Rudiger and a spot-kick from Italian midfielder Jorginho.

A finish 15 minutes from time by Leicester forward Kelechi Iheanacho made for a tense finish but Chelsea got the job done to move one point ahead of the Foxes into third place in the Premier League table, ahead of the final round of matches this Sunday.

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A subplot to Tuesday’s encounter was the simmering anger felt in some Chelsea quarters at the celebrations by Leicester defender Daniel Amartey in the dressing room at Wembley on Saturday, after he was filmed tossing the Chelsea pennant to the floor with casual disdain.

Despite a reported apology from Leicester to the London club over the incident, Chelsea players clearly hadn’t forgotten and made that clear when a mass scuffle broke out approaching full-time at Stamford Bridge.

After Leicester’s Ricardo Pereira made a late challenge on former Foxes defender Ben Chilwell, large numbers from both teams joined the ensuing melee.

That included Amartey, who was an unused substitute on the touchline.

Once he was spotted by Blues defender Thiago Silva, the Brazilian moved towards him menacingly, jabbing his finger before teammate Mason Mount also joined in, appearing to shove Amartey.   

Tensions eventually cooled as Amartey was the only man from the skirmish to receive a yellow card.

Afterwards, Chelsea defender Rudiger insinuated that his team had been given additional motivation by the Ghanaian’s FA Cup celebrations, without referring to him by name.

“We wanted to show to them because the top four is on the line, and unfortunately some people of them, they don’t know how to celebrate, and we had to punish them, 100%,” said the German.

“After we lost the final, we talked with each other that it was a massive game… As I said, some people from them gave us a bit more motivation, from Saturday.

“Congratulations to them [Leicester], they won and everything, celebrate, but don’t disrespect the club’s history, this is a bit bigger than you.”

Speaking on the row over Amartey’s celebrations, Chelsea boss Tuchel played down the incident but suggested his players had clearly had it on their minds.  

“I did not talk about it,” Tuchel said. “I know there was an incident but I didn’t talk about it before the match or in any meetings.

“I don’t do this, but I think the players were well aware.”

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Wesley Fofana and Hamza Choudhury celebrated with a Palestinian flag while teammate Daniel Amartey was accused of disrespect. © Twitter
Leicester duo salute FA Cup win with Palestinian flag as teammate accused of ‘disrespecting’ Chelsea in celebrations (VIDEO)

Chelsea’s win moved them into pole position for a top-four finish as they travel to Aston Villa for their final league game of the season on Sunday.

Leicester are now looking nervously over their shoulder at fifth-placed Liverpool, who could leapfrog them in the table on goal difference if they win their game in hand against Burnley on Wednesday.

Leicester host Tottenham in their last game of the season this weekend, while Liverpool meet Crystal Palace at Anfield.

Chelsea's joy on Tuesday was tempered somewhat by the loss of key midfield man N’Golo Kante after just half an hour of the game, with immediate fears that he could be at risk of missing the Champions League final against Manchester City at the end of the month. 

However, Blues boss Tuchel suggested that the Frenchman was “not injured” and had merely left the field as a precaution after feeling slight muscle discomfort.

The German said he was optimistic to have Kante for Sunday’s crucial season-ending clash at Villa.  

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