Thomas Tuchel leaps to defence of Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger after mass brawl with Leeds players after 3-2 win

CHELSEA boss Thomas Tuchel says Antonio Rudiger was right to 'protect his team-mates' during their bust-up with Leeds players after Saturday's clash at Stamford Bridge.

The Germany star was at the centre of a mass brawl after the full-time whistle following the Blues' 3-2 win.

Emotions were running high after the hosts were awarded a what the visitors considered a soft injury-time penalty for a foul by Mateusz Klich on Rudiger.

Jorginho converted the spot-kick to keep Chelsea two points off top spot, and Leeds six points above the bottom three.

Tuchel said: "If you have Toni you have Toni.

"You cannot have Toni as the emotional and aggressive leader, and not expect him to be involved when there are team-mates to protect.

"He would not accept losing today.

"We knew it would be an intense match for Toni and (Cesar) Azpilicueta because of the way Leeds play. It's good Toni did not accept to lose."

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Jorginho had returned from injury to score two second-half penalties to see off the battling Whites.

A Mason Mount strike just before half-time had cancelled out Raphinha's opener from the penalty spot, and Leeds' teenage prospect Joe Gelhardt scored seven minutes from time to make it 2-2.

Rudiger's deal with Chelsea ends in the summer and he has been linked with a move to Real Madrid.

The 28-year-old will be eligible to sign a pre-contract with a new club in January.

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