Cahill thankful to avoid injury after Rafael lunge

The England defender hinted that the Brazilian could have been sent off for the two-footed tackle on him, but is happy to have come out of the challenge unharmed

Gary Cahill is relieved that Manchester United defender Rafael’s two-footed injury time tackle did not cause him any serious damage.

The Brazilian was only showed a yellow card by referee Phil Down after lunging in on the Chelsea centre-back during the Blues’ 3-1 victory on Sunday.

The challenge came minutes after Nemanja Vidic was sent off for a reckless tackle on Eden Hazard, and the 28-year-old hinted that Rafael should have followed the Serbia man down the tunnel. 

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“I didn't get hurt and it's gone now, I've got no problems if he tackles me as hard as he wants as long as it's fair,” the England international told the club’s official website.

“I do feel he lunged in two-footed, I don't know why but thankfully I rode it and I didn't get injured.

“It was a very important game and a very hard game. We played really well in the first half and I think we controlled the match. It's massive for the confidence and a massive three points.

“It's important to be on top of our game, we played well and we deserved the three points.”

Cahill also praised striker Samuel Eto’o for his hat-trick, as Chelsea beat United at Stamford Bridge for the first time since 2011.

“His goals today were great,” said the defender. 'The manager said at half-time we weren't playing particularly well but nevertheless we were 2-0 up.

“Samuel got his chances and he took them so it was great for us and great for him.

“At 3-0 it was difficult for them to come back into the game, they got the goal late and it was a bit nervy but we managed to see it through and it was a huge win for us.”