fell to the ground and clutched his knee, were joined in a painful wince as they looked towards the coming weeks.
AP:Associated Press
Antonio Rudiger's injury at Anfield could impact
Chelsea's chances of a top four finish

Their German defender has been the understated star in a turbulent season at Stamford Bridge.

Blues remain in contention for a top four finish or could, alternatively, take the backdoor route to the Champions Leauge by winning the Europa League.

revival in recent weeks has fuelled hopes of competing at Europe's top table next season, shifting the prospect from fantasy to reality.

But Rudiger would be a key cog in making that happen.

He has always been Mr. Sensible in central defence.

Chelsea saw that at Anfield as David Luiz threw out a leg at Mohamed Salah early on, risking a penalty and forcing Michael Oliver into a pivotal decision.

Fortunately for Chelsea, it went in their favour.

BLUES' MR. SENSIBLE

But while Blues' charismatic Brazilian provides the flamboyant creativity from defence, Rudiger is the one with the assured touch and organisation with his sensible style.

If Luiz is their Sideshow Bob, then Rudiger is their Flanders.

And any long-term injury for the centre-back would see Andreas Christensen come in as his replacement, as he did on Merseyside.

Getty Images - Getty
David Luiz is the wild one in Chelsea's defence while Rudiger brings an assured calmness

We know the young Dane's potential and ability.

We saw it during Antonio Conte's reign in west London when he was the central anchor of a back-five that eased to the Premier League title.

There is a talented star there with an ability that could be crucial for Chelsea's future.

Yet, the 23-year-old plays off confidence. He needs an arm around the shoulder and faith shown by his boss.

It is clear Sarri doesn't fancy him in his precious system.

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At Molineaux in December he was given the opportunity but wavered under the pressure of the Wolves as they fell to another defeat.

So Sarri and Co will hope Rudiger's time on the touchline is limited.

Otherwise, they may learn just how valuable he is.

Chelsea star Antonio Rudiger has team-mates cringing with dodgy dance during flight