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Da Silva red card riles Ferguson

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There is little love lost between Sir Alex Ferguson and Rafael Benitez and the manner of Chelsea's win at Old Trafford won't have improved their relationship. Chelsea grabbed the three points with a late goal from Juan Mata, but the flashpoint of the match was the sending-off of Rafael Da Silva for kicking out at his fellow Brazilian David Luiz.

Ferguson fumed that Luiz had provoked the Manchester United defender and had grinned when referee Howard Webb flashed the red card. Seemingly oblivious to the fact that his player had blatantly kicked the Chelsea defender, Ferguson aired his grievances at length.

"The ref has been bought by the fact that Luiz is rolling about," Ferguson complained. "You see that with these European, foreign and South American players. He retaliates but Luiz quite clearly elbows him twice. then rolls about like a diving swan and that convinces the referee."

The phrase is "dying swan" we believe, although Luiz was much more cheerful than that. "He was smiling," Ferguson said as if that was the worst crime of all. "What kind of professional is that?" The modern kind, happy that his side's chances of winning have just improved.

Also cheerful was Benitez, celebrating three vital points in the chase for Champions League qualification. "I didn't see the incident or the replays," the Chelsea manager said, which shows an impressive level of determination to avoid them. "I am always trying to enjoy it when we win, you can change nothing if you complain when you lose." Wonder who that was directed at?

Benitez has been quietly effective at Chelsea in the face of repeated hostility from the fans. He has guided the club to the Europa League final, beaten the champions at Old Trafford and a win in the next game against Tottenham will secure Champions League qualification. It's a decent addition to Benitez's much-burnished CV.

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