Football News

Chelsea’s David Luiz hits out at attitude of referee Kevin Friend

By Chris Smith

Published: 16:42, 23 April 2019

David Luiz has slammed referee Kevin Friend for showing disrespect and laughing in his face during Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Burnley on Monday.

After falling behind to an early Jeff Hendrick goal, the Blues hit a quickfire double through N’Golo Kante and Gonzalo Higuain before conceding once again to find themselves level at 2-2 within just 24 minutes.

Did Kevin Friend ‘disrespect’ Luiz? Five key things to know…

  1. A frantic opening 24 minutes saw Chelsea and Burnley level at 2-2.
  2. Hendrick opened the scoring, with further goals from Kante, Higuain and Ashley Barnes.
  3. Upon levelling at 2-2, Burnley sought to run the clock down for much of the game.
  4. This angered Chelsea’s players and staff with many attempting to speak to Friend about the issue.
  5. Luiz has revealed Friend disrespected him by simply ‘laughing in his face’ over the issue.

That is how the score remained, with Burnley frustrating Chelsea by running down the clock throughout the course of the game.

And Luiz has accused Friend of not policing this properly, as well as laughing in his face when the Brazilian attempted to raise the issue of time wasting with the official.

“When the referee is not there to try to check what we have to do on the pitch it is difficult,” he said.

“They [Burnley] were trying to lose time all the time, from the first minute of the first half and it is anti-football.”

Luiz then clarified his statement, adding: “About losing time all the time.

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“Especially when we have the ball, we know the player goes to the floor and then they have to stop the game, and the referee was stopping the game all the time, but we know about the rules, it is not about this and we can carry on because it was not a kick in the head.

“Of course the Burnley team if they see the referee is not good enough to check that, they are going to go to the floor and lose time all the time.”

Finally, Luiz revealed Friend’s reaction when the defender tried to speak to him about the time-wasting: “I think it is the first time I’ve done that because it is difficult because when you see a referee even laugh in your face when you try to speak with him in a respectful way, it is not nice.

“When I was trying to speak with him he was never looking in my eyes and he was not trying to listen, he just said I don’t want to listen to you, shut up and play the game.”

Sarri ‘offended’ by Burnley bench

If the game was entertaining and frenetic on the pitch, it was certainly heated and foul-tempered off it with Maurizio Sarri, Sean Dyche and several members of backroom staff getting involved in disputes.

In the end, Sarri avoided his post-match media duties, with assistant boss Gianfranco Zola eventually facing the press at Stamford Bridge.

And the Italian has revealed how frustrated his compatriot became and suggested Sarri took offence to something uttered during the altercations.

“He’s very frustrated. He’s been sent off and I think he’s been offended as well, so he didn’t feel it was the right thing to speak [publicly],” said Zola. “He’s frustrated at the game, frustrated at being sent off, and the other thing.

“I think he’s been told something from their bench but don’t ask me exactly what. I don’t want to go down that line but we’ll see what we can do about that. I think there will be a follow-up on that. Maurizio felt very unhappy.

“We understand it’s a football game. You say words because of the adrenaline, but he wasn’t particularly happy.”