David Luiz puts Sergio Aguero clash down to 'quite normal frustration'

 Manchester City's Sergio Aguero (right) fouls Chelsea's David Luiz (centre) before being sent-off during yesterday's match at the Ethiad Stadium. Pictures by PA
Andy Hampson

David Luiz has brushed off his latest controversial clash with Sergio Aguero as late-game frustration on the part of the Manchester City striker.

Aguero was sent off for an horrific stoppage-time tackle on Luiz as City were beaten 3-1 by the Premier League leaders at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

The incident sparked a bench-clearing brawl involving players and staff of both sides that also saw City's Fernandinho sent off and bookings for Chelsea's Nathaniel Chalobah and Cesc Fabregas.

Luiz and Aguero had clashed earlier in the game with the Chelsea defender perhaps lucky to escape a red card himself after appearing to deny his opponent a goalscoring opportunity.

The pair also have history with Aguero having sparked a furore with a two-footed challenge on the Brazilian in the 2013 FA Cup semi-final.

Of the latest matter, Luiz said: "I don't like to publicise things. This is not part of the beautiful football.

"Aguero is an amazing player, he scores a lot, he wins a lot. It is better when you talk about Aguero to talk about good things rather than bad things.

"It is quite normal frustration when you don't win the game and I don't like to speak about negative things. It is normal in football - when you win you be happy, when you lose you be sad."

Aguero has already missed three games through suspension this season for elbowing West Ham's Winston Reid and is now heading for a four-match ban. Fernandinho is set to be banned for three games and, to make matters worse for City, a unrelated booking for Nicolas Otamendi means he will also miss the next league game at Leicester.

 Fernandinho also saw red minutes after Aguero was dismissed

In addition it is possible both sides could face extra disciplinary action from the Football Association for failing to control their players.

City manager Pep Guardiola apologised after the game for what occurred but defender John Stones felt the hosts bore the brunt of the punishment.

Stones told the BBC: "In those situations you go in there and back your team-mates up, both teams do that.

"I don't want to say too much and get in trouble for saying things but I think we have ended up on the bad side of what happened.

"I know Sergio's tackle was in no way good, but what happened after that when a few of their boys came in I didn't think it was fairly balanced."

The late scuffles marred what had been a compelling contest, albeit one that had seen emotions run high throughout. There were many full-blooded challenges and, although referee Anthony Taylor tried to let play flow, his decision-making caused consternation.

City dominated the first hour but broke through only when Gary Cahill sliced a Jesus Navas cross into his own net. The hosts spurned a host of chances, most notably when Kevin De Bruyne hit the bar from five yards out with the goal open.

They paid the price when Diego Costa struck a superb equaliser and then set up a second for Willian on a quick counter-attack. Eden Hazard wrapped up the comeback in the last minute before the game ended with those ugly scenes.

It was Chelsea's eighth consecutive victory in the Premier League and a huge statement coming away at one of their main title rivals.

Luiz said: "Yes, it is very nice but the league hasn't finished yet. We have to work hard every day. Every single match is difficult.

"We did a great job, got another three points, but we have to keep our feet on the floor with humility and work hard because the Premier League is never easy."

Midfielder N'Golo Kante insists the title battle with City is far from over.

He said: "City are a good team. We all think they are going to fight for the title, but it is early to speak about the title. We have to stay in this position. In the last few months we can speak about it, but it is too early to speak about it now.

"It was a difficult game but we won and we are happy. We hope to keep going in this way."

 Despite the loss, and having two players sent off, Guardiola was still pleased with how his team played

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe from just £1 for the first month to get full access