Michael Laudrup admitted that he feared his Swansea City top scorer, Michu, had been badly hurt when the Spaniard was poleaxed by Hugo Lloris in an injury-time flashpoint at White Hart Lane, and he made reference to the infamous Toni Schumacher-Patrick Battiston clash from the 1982 World Cup.
As Tottenham closed in on a 1-0 victory, Laudrup watched the Tottenham goalkeeper punch clear ahead of Michu and lay his player out with the follow-through, dumping him on to the ground. Michu appeared to have been knocked out but Tottenham played on, going up to the other end and almost scoring through the substitute Andros Townsend.
It led to fury among the Swansea players, with the defender Chico Flores pushing and shoving with Kyle Walker, and heated discussion on the benches.
André Villas-Boas, the Tottenham manager, walked on to the pitch in an attempt to restore calm. Laudrup vented his anger at the referee, Mike Dean, and one of Dean's assistants for failing to stop the game. Fortunately, Michu escaped injury.
"When I saw Michu like this, I said: 'Fucking hell, he's unconscious,'" Laudrup said. "You can't fake a reaction like that. I am really surprised the referee didn't stop play more quickly. When I saw it, I remembered '82 with Battiston [when he was flattened by the goalkeeper Schumacher]. I really would like to hear the explanation from the referee and the linesman. They both have to be blamed for this one."
Villas-Boas said: "I was expecting the referee to stop the game instantly. The health of a player is more important. The referee has to stop the game."