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WhoScored: Zabaleta-Sterling a key battle

Tactics And Analysis 9 hours ago
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Feb 11, 2013

Van der Vaart: I got Lewandowski sent off

Rafael van der Vaart has controversially admitted he "kicked up a fuss" to make sure Robert Lewandowski was sent off during Hamburg's shock 4-1 win over Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.

After opening the scoring 17 minutes in, Poland international Lewandowski was shown a red card just after the half-hour mark for an altercation with the former Tottenham playmaker after fouling Hamburg's Per Skjelbred in midfield.

Van der Vaart reacted by storming towards Lewandowski and pushing him from behind, with the sought-after striker reacting in similar fashion. Seconds later, Van der Vaart was down on the ground after contact with Dortmund captain Sebastian Kehl.

Van der Vaart quickly got up and ran towards referee Manuel Grafe. After two minutes of deliberation between Grafe and his assistants, Lewandowski was sent off and Van der Vaart booked. Lewandowski left the field with his team 2-1 down and now a man down.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Van der Vaart revealed his involvement in the situation was intentional.

"I needed to kick up a fuss," he said. "I had the feeling the ref would not have given a red card otherwise."

Initially after the match Klopp appeared calm about the sending off of his star striker.

"Robby gets a push from behind, still goes after the ball - both hit each other," he said of the incident which happened just yards from the technical area. "I've seen worse refereeing in my life. A red card is okay. It was an unfortunate situation."

However, when questioned about Van der Vaart's statement on Sunday, he reacted differently by saying: "That is the worst sentence I have ever heard in my life."

Dortmund CEO Aki Watzke warned Van der Vaart: "It's an especially telling statement. We will certainly not forget about it."

Van der Vaart was in the centre of events a few minutes later when a lighter thrown from the Dortmund terraces appeared to have hit him, but he played down the incident.

"That's part of the game," he said. "In the end we won the game because we were the better team."

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