At the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, Chelsea passed the toughest test of the season so far by beating Pep Guardiola's Manchester City 3-1, overcoming a 1-0 half-time lead by the Citizens on a Gary Cahill own goal. Chelsea's Brazilian core of David Luiz, Diego Costa and Willian made a huge contribution to the result, with the former giving a great performance in defence and the latter two scoring the team's first two goals in the game.
At the end of the match, Argentinian striker Sergio Agüero made a criminal challenge on David. And it was not the first time he's done something of this sort against the Brazilian defender.
In addition to talking to Sky Sports afterwards — with Luiz acting as translator and also playing down the Aguero nonsense — David and Diego also talked to ESPN Brasil, addressing first the melee towards the end.
David: "I didn't see anything!"
Diego: "It's in the game. Football matches are like this sometimes. We managed to get a positive result, and they had the opportunity to win the match. [Sergio Agüero] made a hot-headed move. In any case, it's as we usually say: this stays on the pitch."
"Everyone knows when they did wrong, that they will face punishment for their actions and it's up to us to keep on working and move on ahead."
Agüero's facing a four-match ban at this point, with the standard three-match ban extended by one game due to his dismissal earlier this season for an elbow on Winston Reid. Menwhile, many are guessing an even longer punishment for Fernandinho. With Manchester City facing their toughest month of the season, these two suspensions to two key players could have a big impact on their season.
For Chelsea, the win was yet another immense result, extending the our lead at the top of the table and taking our winning streak to eight games. Chelsea have earned 34 points in 14 matches — an average of 2.43 points per game and on pace for 92 for the season.
David: "It's undoubtedly [an important result for Chelsea]. Manchester City are a direct rival in the chase for the title, and it's never easy to play and get the three points here [at the Etihad]. We are happy with our performance. [As for Diego,] it's his work to score. Otherwise, we slap his wrist!"
Diego: "I'm happy for the opportunity to score this goal. Still, getting three points is what matters the most. We came into the game with the intention of leaving Manchester with a positive result and we managed to do that."
"I scored a goal, the team played well even though we faced some adversities through the game. It's important for us to have taken three points and keep ourselves in the fight for the [Premier League] title."
Slapping Costa's wrist sounds like playing with fire, but I suppose if anyone can get away with such shenanigans, it'd be David Luiz.
On a much more somber note, David and Willian also reflected on the tragedy of the Chapecoense air crash, which claimed 71 lives, including most of the team's players and staff and quite a large number of journalists, too, who were traveling with the club to Colombia to play the Copa Sulamericana finals against Atlético Nacional. The incident put the entire sport into mourning, touching the hearts of millions of people around the globe, and affecting many who lost friends and family directly.
David: "It was a difficult week for everybody; every one of us has been affected. It was hard to prepare ourselves mentally for this game. They were our working colleagues; some were friends of mine. They were sports journalists who take the news to everyone. Many people lost their lives in this tragedy."
"So the least we can do is to try our to best to comfort them, and dedicate our goals and our victories to them. We have them in our prayers, and may God comfort the hearts of the victims' families."
Willian: "It's difficult. Until it hits you completely, it's complicated. It's still hard to believe in what happened. I wish strength towards the families who have lost anyone in the tragedy."
"We know how difficult it is to travel and leave your family behind. So we keep on supporting them, and hope that God can comfort everyone's hearts."
-Source: ESPN Brasil