Trailing 3 -1 against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge as time ticked by during the closing moments of the game, it became clear that a couple heads among the Manchester United gone, completely. Serbian veteran Nemanja Vidic had just seen red for a judged-to-be-malicious tackle on Eden Hazard, when Rafael made this controversial challenge on Gary Cahill during the 94th minute.
The 23-year-old Brazilian received a yellow card resultantly, but due to the nature of the challenge – two-footed and off the ground – many are convinced Phil Dowd should have gone into his back pocket once again.
Rafael’s performance up until the incident had not been the most encouraging anyway. While his pass completion stood at 82% by the final whistle, and he made three successful – and above-board – tackles, he also completed only one of his four attempted take-ons, lost both his headed duels and failed to find a man with each of the four crosses put into the box.
In terms of offences overall, he was fouled on three occasions but gave away an identical number himself.
Incidentally, his twin brother Fabio received a straight red card recently, for a challenge on Jose Canas during United’s FA cup defeat against Swansea.Published 20 Jan 2014, 01:00 IST