Chelsea GIF: Should David Luiz Have Been on the Pitch to Score the Winning Goal?

Karl MatchettFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2013

BASEL, SWITZERLAND - APRIL 25:  David Luiz of Chelsea celebrates scoring his sides second goal during the UEFA Europa League Semi Final First Leg match between FC Basel 1893 and Chelsea at St. Jakob Stadium on April 25, 2013 in Basel, Switzerland.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Chelsea secured themselves a last-gasp winner in their UEFA Europa League semifinal first leg clash against FC Basel on Thursday, thanks to a 94th-minute free kick from David Luiz—but the Swiss side will have a case to be unhappy as perhaps the Brazilian should have been sent off earlier in the game.

The blues triumphed 2-1 in Switzerland after Victor Moses scored a header off a corner in the first half, before both teams struck the woodwork after the break—Valentin Stocker for Basel and Fernando Torres for Chelsea.

A highly dubious penalty, conceded by Cesar Azpilicueta and scored by Fabian Schaer, made it one goal apiece with only a few minutes left, before David Luiz curled a low free kick into the far corner in the fourth minute of stoppage time to earn his team a second away goal and, more importantly, the 2-1 victory.

Goalkeeper Yann Sommer will have been disappointed with his attempts to keep the free kick out, especially having made an incredible reflex stop from John Terry just minutes beforehand with the scores level.

Even more galling for Basel fans and players was that David Luiz eventually netted the winner, where he could—and almost certainly should—have been shown a straight red card in the 83rd minute for a reckless, studs-up tackle on Philipp Degen which left the right-back writhing on the ground.

 

The Swiss defender was able to continue after some treatment, but Luiz should certainly have faced more punishment than the yellow card he was shown.

As it is, the Brazilian was free to complete the match, score the winning goal and will be available for selection for the return leg too—with Basel facing an unenviable task in trying to turn the tie around when they travel to Stamford Bridge.