It was a clearly dissatisfied David Luiz who spoke about the officiating of Monday night’s draw against Burnley after his side had been pegged back to 2-2, having taken the lead despite the setback of an early goal conceded.
Well-worked goals scored by N’Golo Kante and Gonzalo Higuain had put us 2-1 up in the first half but we conceded from a free-kick before half-time, having gone behind to a powerful strike following a corner and on this occasion the Blues, who had scored a third of our league goals in the final 15 minutes of matches this season, could not conjure up a late winner.
Read: Report - Chelsea 2 Burnley 2
David Luiz was not the only one in the stadium who thought there should have been greater than the five minutes of additional time at the end.
‘When the referee is not there to try to check what we have to do on the pitch it is difficult,’ he lamented ‘They [Burnley] were trying to lose time all the time, from the first minute of the first half and it is anti-football.’
By that term, the Brazilian explained he meant: ‘About losing time all the time. 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.’
David Luiz said he tried to make his point to referee Kevin Friend during the game, and pointed out he has not commented on the officiating this way before.
‘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. ‘
Reflecting on the goals conceded, the Brazilian praised the quality of Burnley’s opener but about their second he said: ‘They scored a goal when it was not a free-kick and the referee gave a free-kick.
‘It was a mistake from the referee but then after that it is true you have to realise when you play against a team like that, especially in the Premier League, they train like this all the week to try to score.
‘Then after that we know against Premier League teams it is always difficult and they started to pass the time, pass the time, pass the time and start be even more difficult. They start to play with 11 inside the box and we were trying to score the goal and it is difficult to score when it is a team like that.
‘We did many things to try to win the game, it was a tricky game.’
Chelsea are in fourth place following the point gained yesterday with our rivals all playing their games in hand over us this midweek. For David Luiz, the requirement for the rest of the Premier League season is clear if Chelsea are to make the top four.
‘I think we have to win every game, nine points, and we try to do that.’
Read: The race for the top four