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Antonio Rudiger silenced Erling Haaland without even making a tackle



collage maker 10 may 2023 09 00 am 1650

Real Madrid defender Antonio Rudiger managed to achieve what many thought was impossible in Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg against Manchester City by keeping the prolific Erling Haaland quiet. Haaland, who had scored an impressive 51 goals in 46 games before the match, was limited to just 21 touches over the 90 minutes, fewer than both Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and Man City’s Ederson.



Rudiger appeared to make it his personal mission to stop Haaland, and the German centre-back did just that. Before coming up against Rudiger, Haaland was averaging a Champions League goal every 58 minutes, but the defender showed exactly why Real Madrid were so keen to sign him after his contract expired at Chelsea last summer.



In the match, Rudiger got inside Haaland’s head, and footage recorded from the stands shows the Madrid centre-back’s bizarre off-the-ball defending against his 6ft 4in opponent. The clip shows Rudiger getting down low, putting his head underneath Haaland’s armpits, almost as if he was willing Haaland to put him into a headlock, perhaps to draw an easy foul from the referee.



Rudiger’s performance was a testament to his defensive abilities and his tactical approach to the game. He knew he had to get inside Haaland’s head to give himself a chance of keeping the world-class striker quiet, and he succeeded in doing just that. Real Madrid fans will be hoping Rudiger can replicate this performance in the second leg and help them secure a place in the Champions League final.

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