By Chris Wright
It’s not often you find yourself left in the unenviable position of having to sympathise with Mark van Bommel, but during AC Milan’s 3-1 Coppa Italia victory over Lazio last night one such instance occurred.
With Lazio 2-1 down and defending a late corner, Brazilian centre-back Dias took an almighty swing at Van Bommel’s temples and caught the Milan midfielder with a cowardly blow to the side of the head that left him sprawled on the turf for a couple of minutes.
Unfortunately for the Dutchman, both officials missed the assault and, rather than a penalty and a straight red, Dias was free to scamper off without any punishment whatsoever…
Of course, it’s hard to feel sorry for Van Bommel given his entire career to date, but at least his thuggery and gamesmanship usually has a gossamer-thin footballing pretence. What Dias did was just vicious, pure and simple.