Rudiger appears to hit out at manager Conte after Chelsea surrender lead to draw against West Ham

Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has seemingly criticised manager Antonio Conte’s tactics after his side were unable to hold on for victory against West Ham.

The Blues were leading 1-0 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday courtesy of Cesar Azpilicueta’s goal but West Ham equalised through substitute Javier Hernandez and managed to hold on for a point.

Chelsea have often struggled to hold onto leads this season, and Rudiger was livid after the game.

‘I think we begged. We begged for the goal,’ Rudiger told Sky Sports (via Football Italia).

‘I think in the second half we (could) finish the game (off). But like the last few months, we didn’t and we (conceded).

‘For me, it’s not easy to explain. I don’t understand why after 1-0 we always drop and let the opponent get more ball possession.

‘Like the last weeks again, we (gave) them a gift. I think that was the first chance they (had).’

The result, coupled with the fact that Tottenham beat Stoke on Saturday, means Chelsea’s hopes of securing a top-four finish in the Premier League are fading fast.

Both sides have six games left to play and Chelsea are currently ten points adrift of their London rivals.

There is much uncertainty surrounding Chelsea heading into the final few weeks of the season, with Conte seemingly heading for the exit door in the summer.

Chelsea have found consistency hard to come by this season but they could still conclude the campaign with some silverware in the form of the FA Cup.

Pat Nevin sends message to Chelsea FC fans about Europa League

Pat Nevin believes Chelsea FC supporters could relish an adventure in the Europa League next season.
The defending Premier League champions lost 4-1 to Spanish giants FC Barcelona in the Champions League round of 16.

The Blues have lost five of their last seven Premier League games to lose significant ground in the top-four race.

The west London outfit suffered their first Premier League loss to Spurs at Stamford Bridge last weekend.

Goals from Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli sealed a 3-1 win to notch up Tottenham’s first victory at the west London club since 1990.

Chelsea FC are eight points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham with seven games to spare.

The title holders could miss out on Champions League football for the second time in three seasons.

However, the Blues memorably won the Europa League under Rafael Benitez in 2013 following a 1-0 extra-time win against Benfica.

Former Chelsea FC winger Nevin believes the Blues could enjoy a long run to the Europa League final.

“What about the idea of the much derided Europa League itself?” Nevin told Chelsea FC’s website.

“There are lots of games in store if we get there and I think most fans who enjoyed the run to the final and win in 2013 accept that there is good sport to be had in that adventure.

“There is of course the carrot of a Champions League place if you win it, and with the quality of the competition in the Premier League at the moment, this route cannot be ignored lightly.”

Chelsea FC have won the Premier League title in two of the past three seasons under Jose Mourinho and then Antonio Conte.

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