Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho were sent off in the final minutes of Chelsea's 3-1 win over Manchester City which could see them out for four and three games respectively. But did anyone notice that it was Cesc Fabregas who provoked an angry reaction out of Fernandinho?
It has been a while since we have not witnessed a big brawl on a big
There is no doubt that Aguero's tackle on Luiz was clearly malicious and Fernandinho charging at Cesc Fabregas was also not professional behaviour. The City duo
In fact, the Spaniard's provocation tactics are not new for fans who followed him during his three-year stint with Barcelona. There were multiple instances where the Barca players provoked, over reacted or dived to get the opposition players sent off, and Fabregas' moment came during a Clasico match in 2011 when Marcelo tackled him from the back. The midfielder rolled down in pain which had all the players and coaching staff going at each others' throats. Even after the massive brawl which saw the then Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho
And Pep Guardiola, Fabregas' manager at Barca at that time, who also kept away from the tussle yesterday, will have surely known how good his former player is at this stuff. But out of professional courtesy, the Man City manager did not point this out in his post-match interview and was neutral by saying, “Fernandinho went to defend his team-mates, because what happened with Nolito was
This could, however, also mean that Guardiola had noticed Fabregas' provocation during the match, but is waiting for a discussion with the club management to put in a request with the Football Association. If Fabregas is found guilty, Fernandinho's ban could be reduced by a match or two.
For instance, in September 2015, Arsenal's centre-half Gabriel Paulista was sent off during the match against Chelsea for head-butting striker Diego Costa and was slapped with a three-game suspension initially. But after taking a closer look at the confrontation, the special referee panel of the match decided that it was not the Arsenal defender, but Costa who had provoked the reaction from the Brazilian while also being involved in a confrontation with Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny during the course of the game. Following this, the Football Association (FA) decided to overturn the ban on Gabriel and handed Diego Costa a three-match ban for violent conduct. Taking this example, it would be better if the authorities do some digging into the footage of the final minutes starting from Aguero's tackle and notice that it was Fabregas who tried to put Fernandinho on the edge and got him sent off.