Saturday 25 November 2017

'It's madness really. It's a form of cheating' - Roy Keane slams Chelsea star David Luiz

Chelsea's David Luiz
Chelsea's David Luiz

Jack de Menezes

Roy Keane did not allow Chelsea’s brilliant 2-1 victory at Atletico Madrid get in the way of his scathing assessment of David Luiz after the Brazilian defender conceded a needless penalty during Wednesday night’s Champions League encounter.

Luiz gifted the home side the chance to go ahead when he grabbed the shirt of Lucas Hernandez while attempting to stop him from reaching a corner. The shirt grab was made all the more obvious when Luiz was spun around 360 degrees as he refused to let go of his opposite man, and he left referee Cuneyt Cakir with little option than to point to the penalty spot.

Keane, not one for going easy on players guilty of making such obvious mistakes, labelled Luiz “lazy” and accused him of letting down his teammates by repeatedly making such poor decisions.

“It's madness really. It's a form of cheating,” Keane said on ITV.

“Why he's doing it is beyond me. He's lazy and he's letting his team-mates down. He knows himself. There's no need. We see a lot of that going on, so I'm glad he got punished for it. It's a form of cheating.”

Luiz found himself caught staring between the ball and his opposite man, allowing Lucas Hernandez to gain a yard on him and leave the Brazil international with a decision to make: allow him to leap for the ball and risk conceding a goal, or concede a penalty and hope that goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois can make up for his indiscretion.

Unfortunately for Luiz, his goalkeeper could not bail him out and it left Antoine Griezmann to tuck the ball straight down the middle of the goal to put Atletico ahead. Chelsea fought back to level through former Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata before Michy Batshuayi scored the winner with the final kick of the match, but Luiz was still singled out by another ex-professional in Rio Ferdinand for his actions.

“David Luiz has left himself and his team-mates down here,” Ferdinand said on BT Sport. “You see he's the wrong side, he knows he's the wrong side and he gets a handful of the shirt and the referee is in a great position. He doesn't even protest.”

Luiz was one of Chelsea’s best performers during their Premier League title-winning season last term, but his 2017/18 campaign has not got off to the best of starts. Luiz was sent-off for a lunge on Arsenal defender Sead Kolasinac two weeks ago, earning himself a three-game domestic suspension, and he was also lucky not to pick up a second booking in the season-opening defeat by Burnley when Chelsea were already down to nine men, following the dismissals of Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas.

“It's the second time in a week he has let his team-mates down (after) getting the sending off at Stamford Bridge last week,” Steven Gerrard added on BT Sport.

“This is a moment of madness at a time when Chelsea were totally dominating this game and looked likely to make the first breakthrough.”

Independent News Service

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