Rio Ferdinand didn’t hold back in his assessment of Fernando Torres after the striker was sent off for Atletico Madrid in their Champions League quarter-final first-leg defeat to Barcelona.
Torres went from hero to villain in the space of 10 minutes, scoring the opener before receiving a second yellow card for a clumsy tackle on Sergio Busquets.
And Ferdinand let rip at the Spaniard, labelling him a “disgrace” and saying Diego Simeone would “destroy” Torres after the game. Scroll down the page to watch Ferdinand’s reaction.
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Torres launched a scathing attack on UEFA after watching his team lose 2-1, questioning their choice of referee. But, ultimately, the Spaniard can have no qualms about his sending off.
He swiped down Neymar with the Brazilian heading nowhere before making a clumsy tackle on Busquets. There was no malice in his second challenge but to even make contact was foolish.
Ferdinand agreed, saying on BT Sport on Tuesday: “Tonight he was a disgrace really. He'll be embarrassed, he's let them down.
“He's on a yellow already, why give the referee the opportunity to even think about giving him the yellow card? As a manager you destroy him in the changing room after."
Michael Owen, Ferdinand’s fellow BT Sport pundit, echoed the Manchester United legend’s words.
“He's cost his team big time tonight,” Owen said. “He made a couple of shocking decisions. Both yellow cards, Barcelona players going nowhere. He's let everybody down.”
Everybody except Simeone.
Simeone refused to blame Torres
The fiery Atletico Madrid boss refused to blame his striker following the defeat and just stopped short of accusing referee Felix Brych for hurting his team’s chances of reaching the semi-final.
When asked who was at fault for Torres’ dismissal, Simeone replied: “Certainly not Torres.”
He continued: “I can’t say what I want,” per the Mirror. “I need to think about what I'm saying so I don't say anything I shouldn’t. There were more than two.”
Cries of ‘UEFAlona’ were rampant on social media following the game, with fans questioning Brych’s decision to send Torres off but not Luis Suarez.
The Barcelona striker was only shown a yellow card for clashing with Filipe Luis and went unpunished after kicking out at Juanfran. He certainly should have been shown his marching orders.
Luis thinks Barca are helped by officials
Are Barcelona protected from referees? Luis certainly thinks so.
“The sending off is totally unjust and changed the game,” the former Chelsea defender said, per the Mirror.
“Barcelona are protected. When you play against them you realise that they are a very powerful club. You realise the fear when Barcelona could get knocked out. It would hurt UEFA a lot.
“Against Real Madrid there was a similar moment [from Suarez]. I don’t know what they have to do for someone to send one of them off."
To add insult to injury, it was Suarez who turned the tie on its head with a second-half brace.
Atleti might be furious now but they have the chance to exact revenge in next week’s return leg at the Vicente Calderon.
Are Barcelona protected by UEFA? Have your say in the comments section below!
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