Updated: Sunday, 18th November 2018 @ 8:20am

Alex Ferguson fumes at David Luiz's sideshow role in Rafael's red card in Manchester United's defeat to Chelsea

Alex Ferguson fumes at David Luiz's sideshow role in Rafael's red card in Manchester United's defeat to Chelsea

By Chris Bailey

Sir Alex Ferguson blasted David Luiz’s theatrics after Rafael earned a red card for lashing out at the centre-back in Manchester United’s loss to Chelsea.

The Blues boosted their hunt for a Champions League place after a scruffy shot from Juan Mata squeezed past Anders Lindegaard late on while Rafael saw red moments later.

Though Ferguson admitted the right-back reacted badly, he was less than thrilled with Luiz who appeared to dig his elbow into the United man before being kicked.

“That always happens, the player who retaliates gets the bigger penalty,” said the Scot. “It was quite clear that Luiz elbowed him twice actually.

"Rafael was rash. 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 seen it – I don’t think he can see it at all – but he’s going with the fact that Luiz is rolling about on the floor.

“I think that convinced him it was a red card.”

The Red Devils never clicked into gear in front of an Old Trafford crowd still basking in the glory of a 20th league title.

The evergreen Ryan Giggs – arguably United’s best player in the game – set-up the home side’s best chance just before half-time, but Robin van Persie edged wide.

While Ferguson made no excuses for the performance, he believed a 'controversial' Chelsea did as much as they could to influence referee Howard Webb.

“We took our foot off the pedal in a big way,” he added. “We didn’t have an edge to our game all day and I think Chelsea deserved to win.

“Unfortunately it was controversial, it always is against Chelsea. But we can’t complain – we didn’t play well enough.

“Certainly the referee’s decisions went against us a lot. Chelsea surrounded him all day – four or five players all the time – and I think that affected the referee.”

Image courtesy of BBC Sport, via YouTube, with thanks.

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