Estudiantes 0-0 draw with Boca Juniors in the Argentine Primera División may have been low on goals, but the furious reaction of former Arsenal defender Nelson Vivas after being sent to the stands by the referee has ensured the match has made headlines around the world.
The Estudiantes manager, who played 69 Premier League matches for Arsenal between 1998 and 2001, reacted furiously when the referee declined to award his side a penalty after Boca goalkeeper Agustin Rossi made contact with his player Juan Cavallaro in the penalty area.
So infuriated was Vivas that having angrily berated the match officials, he ripped off his top in an extraordinary fit of pique, popping all of the buttons and leaving the white shirt in a crumpled heap on the floor.
And for good measure Vivas also made sure to boot a water bottle befor being ushered down the tunnel by security guards.
The Argentine top-flight clash was an angry affair with the referee, Silvio Trucco, handing out eight yellow cards as well as sending Vivas to the stands.
The goalless draw saw Boca’s lead at the top of the division cut to four points, while Estudiantes dropped down to sixth.
Vivas moved to Arsenal from Swiss club FC Lugano in 1998, for £1.6m, but he was mainly used as a back-up to the club’s established full-backs, Lee Dixon and Nigel Winterburn.
His time at the club was numbered after he replaced Winterburn in a match against Leeds, at a crucial stage in the title race against Manchester United. In the last five minutes, Vivas lost Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink at the back post, with the Dutchman scoring the only goal of the game.
Wenger took the rare step of publicly rebuking one of his own players after the match, angrily complaining: “We made a huge tactical error and it is unusual for us to make a mistake like that. Nelson Vivas was in a very bad position at the back post.”
Vivas never won back Wenger’s trust and was eventually sold to Internazionale.Reuse content