Sir Alex Ferguson has lambasted Chelsea’s David Luiz, saying the Brazilian went down like a ‘dying swan’ to get Manchester United defender Rafael sent off in the Blues’ vital 1-0 win at Old Trafford yesterday.
Luiz courted controversy after appearing to provoke Rafael by elbowing him, before dropping to floor under his compatriot’s challenge. He was then spotted smiling before getting back to his feet.
Referee Howard Webb handed Rafael his marching orders, leaving Ferguson furious.
"The ref has been bought by the fact Luiz is rolling about," he said after the game. "But whether the ref will do anything about it, I doubt very much. When a player retaliates he gets punished the most. Luiz rolled about. You see that with these European, foreign and South American players.
"He [Da Silva] retaliates but Luiz quite clearly elbows him twice, then rolls about like a diving swan and that convinces the referee. He was smiling. It's bad. What kind of professional is that? He [Da Silva] was elbowed and he retaliated. That's what always happens, the player who retaliates always gets the bigger penalty and it was clear that Luiz elbowed him twice.
The Scot continued: "It was rash what he [Da Silva] did, he's a young lad and should know better but retaliation never works. I wouldn't say it was violent conduct. The referee hasn't even seen it, I don't think he could see it at all. But he has gone with the fact that Luiz has rolled about on the floor and I think that convinced him it was a red card."
Chelsea’s win, secured thanks to a late Juan Mata goal, puts them in poll position to secure Champions League football, and takes some of the heat out of their showdown against Tottenham on Wednesday.
The Blues sit in 3rd place, one point clear of Arsenal in 4th and three clear of Spurs in 5th.