Soccer: Swansea hit out at ref as striker KOed

By Sam Wallace

Officials let game carry on as Michu left unconscious after collision with keeper.

Michael Laudrup. Photo / AP
Michael Laudrup. Photo / AP

Michael Laudrup, the Swansea City manager, launched an outspoken attack on referee Mike Dean for failing to stop play in injury time at the end of his team's 1-0 defeat at White Hart Lane yesterday when it appeared that striker Michu could have been knocked unconscious.

There was uproar on the Swansea bench as play continued despite the fact that the Spanish striker was lying prone on his back after a collision with Tottenham Hotspur's goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, with players from both sides frantically calling for medical attention.

The Spurs substitute, Andros Townsend, continued his run at goal, seemingly unaware of what was taking place behind him.

Laudrup said the collision had reminded him of the one between West Germany goalkeeper Harald Schumacher and France defender Patrick Battiston in 1982 that left the latter with a broken neck and was disbelieving that the referee did not take action. Michu later recovered and finished the game.

Laudrup said: "I was very angry, I did not want a free-kick or red card for Lloris or anything. We always talk about if a player is out, should we kick the ball out? Sometimes teams say, 'We have a referee and linesman and we go on until they whistle'.

"But when possible head injuries happen like this one there is no doubts [the game should be stopped]. The referee or the linesman, they are connected [via headset]. I watched after on the computer. When Michu goes down the referee and linesman are watching them and still they let the game go on.

"I would like an explanation. I just want the game stopped and, if it was an opponent, I would say the same. If someone goes down with a hamstring injury we continue until the ball goes out and then we carry him off because it is not dangerous.

"But when two players go up for a header and they both go down there is nothing to discuss, you have to whistle and stop the game."

Andre Villas-Boas, the Tottenham manager, said Dean "had to stop the game. As Townsend was moving in one direction, Mike was moving in Michu's direction and trying to direct the play. It was a difficult decision for him ... but, in that split-second, he has to make a decision.

"To be fair, we jumped straight away from the bench to try to get it stopped."

- Independent

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