Chelsea boss Rafa claims tackle on Sideshow Bob is no joking matter
Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez has defended David Luiz against criticism by claiming him to be one of the best players in the Premier League. The interim boss of Stamford Bridge declared that the Brazilian defender was among the best he has seen in the Premier League “by miles”.
Such lavish praise on David Luiz comes after the Brazil international dove to get Raphael da Silva red carded in the match against Manchester United on Sunday. The 26-year-old became the center of the controversy after passing smiles moments after being knocked down by the Manchester United full-back.
Chelsea won the game 1-0 at Old Trafford, leaving Manchester United with a sour taste in their mouths. Manchester United supporters lambasted against David Luiz after the game for his theatrical performance, but soon it was revealed that the defender was laughing at a joke made on his resemblance to “Sideshow Bob”, a character from the cartoon series “The Simpsons”.
Rafael Benitez was in no laughing mood when Sideshow Bob was mentioned again in his pre-match conference at the Cobham training facility on Tuesday. The Spaniard said that serious efforts must be made to eradicate excessive tackling from football.
“I'm aware David Luiz is one of the best players in the Premier League by miles,” Rafael Benitez said. “Miles away from a lot of players, one of the best no doubt.
“I think, talking about that [incident], we are not talking about Chelsea between United, much better than United in three games, two in Old Trafford. I think we did really well, the substitution of Fernando [Torres] was an offensive player on the pitch. Mind games, nobody was talking about mind games after the game and then we start talking about this, I don't agree with that.
“I think David Luiz was laughing because the fans abusing him. After [that] was [the] red card, so was very clear the timing.
“But, if we continue to talk about this, rather than trying to eradicate the bad tackles we see every week, I think we are giving importance to something that is not as important as other things. Still, I don't like this situation. But we are talking about one of the best players in the Premier League.
“Again, I say I prefer to talk about football, tactics or the other things that are normal.”
Chelsea are scheduled to play against Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday. The game is considered to be a crucial moment in the London outfits campaign, since the victor will be granted a huge advantage in acquiring Champions League action this season.