David Luiz's Hall of Horrors: Arsenal defender's long list of gaffes

David Luiz’s Hall of Horrors: Arsenal defender’s cameo at Manchester City was just the latest in a long list of calamities from Brazil’s 7-1 humiliation by Germany to being nutmegged and conceding TWICE to Luis Suarez in the same game

  • David Luiz made an eventful cameo off the bench for Arsenal on Wednesday
  • It is not the first time the Brazilian’s defending has come under the microscope
  • He has a long list of horror shows for both club and country in his career
  • Sportsmail looks back at some of the 33-year-old’s most high-profile gaffes 

Gary Neville famously once said that David Luiz played like he was ‘being controlled by a 10-year-old on a PlayStation’.

Nearly nine years have passed since the former Manchester United defender made that comment live on Sky Sports, but his words have aged like a fine wine.

The Brazilian offered up his latest horror show on Wednesday night in a 25-minute cameo off the bench in Arsenal’s embarrassing defeat at Manchester City.

David Luiz made an eventful cameo off the bench for Arsenal at Manchester City this week

The Arsenal defender received a straight red card after giving away a second-half penalty

The 33-year-old trudges off after receiving his marching orders for a foul in the box

He made an individual error leading to a goal on the stroke of half-time before bringing down Riyad Mahrez for a penalty and getting sent off in the process.

Sportsmail takes a look back at the 33-year-old’s most hapless moments across his career for Brazil, PSG, Chelsea and Arsenal…  

Germany, 2014

In the absence of the suspended Thiago Silva, Luiz was handed the honour of captaining Brazil in their World Cup semi-final against Germany in 2014.

What followed was the worst night of the defender’s career.

The defining image of the evening, aside from the traumatised home fans in the stands, was the sight of Luiz and goalkeeper Julio Cesar clutching the shirt of their injured talisman Neymar as they bellowed out the national anthem.

Emotionally pent up, Luiz had a catastrophic evening. Alan Hansen called it ‘the worst performance I have ever seen’, as a ruthless German side put Brazil to the sword with five unanswered goals in the first half – four of them coming in six extraordinary minutes.


As impressive as Germany were in the final third, they were spoon fed chances by a hapless Brazil, characterised by their skipper charging around like a headless chicken.

He was caught out of position for the opening goal, converted from a corner kick by Thomas Muller and charged out into midfield to leave a gaping hole in defence for Sami Khedira to slot the fifth.

Brazil went on to lose 7-1, humiliated in their own World Cup and Luiz was left in floods of tears at the final whistle. 

Luiz captained Brazil in their humiliating 7-1 defeat by Germany in the 2014 World Cup

Luis Suarez, 2015

On the eve of the 2014 World Cup, Paris Saint-Germain made Luiz the most expensive defender in world football after paying Chelsea £50million.

Expected to help PSG finally challenge in the Champions League, Luiz was caught out on the biggest stage of all.

The French champions were pitted against Barcelona in the quarter-finals and the Brazilian was embarrassed twice by Luis Suarez in the first leg at the Parc des Princes.

Suarez nutmegged the world’s most expensive defender not once, but twice, on his way to scoring two fine goals.

Barcelona went through comfortably on aggregate and went on to secure their fifth European crown in Berlin, 

Luiz was embarrassed twice by Luis Suarez in defeat by Barcelona for PSG in April 2015


Manchester United, 2018

Luiz returned to Stamford Bridge in 2016 under Antonio Conte and excelled in a back three that went on to lift the Premier League title in his first season.

But in a four-man defence under Maurizio Sarri, the Brazilian’s carefree attitude towards defending was exposed again.

Manchester United visited Chelsea in October 2018 and showed up Luiz’s frailties when left isolated.

When a hopeful ball was played down the left-hand side in the second half, Luiz charged out from his central position to win the ball and was promptly beaten all ends up by Juan Mata.

With Luiz now hopelessly behind play and out of position, Chelsea were caught cold and the move eventually led to Anthony Martial curling home to put United ahead. 

Luiz made a huge error of judgement when Chelsea drew with Manchester United in 2018

Tottenham, 2018

Luiz reserved one of his worst performances in a Chelsea shirt for the worst possible occasion.

Chelsea were riding high near the top of the table when they went to Wembley to face Tottenham in 2018-19.

But by the end their fans were turning on Luiz in number after he was directly involved in all three goals conceded in a miserable 3-1 defeat.

First, Luiz fouled Harry Kane for a free kick that led to Dele Alli heading Spurs in front. Then he turned his back on a Kane shot from distance that left goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga flat-footed.

The worst moment of all came after half time when he went to tackle Son Heung-min head on but, inexplicably, completely missed him and failed to make any contact whatsoever.

The South Korean finished with aplomb, but, not for the first time, Luiz was made to look foolish after a rush of blood to the head. 


Luiz was at fault for three goals that Chelsea conceded in defeat by Tottenham later that year

Liverpool, 2019

Arsenal parted with £7million to bring in David Luiz in what appears now to be a misguided attempt to shore up their back line.

In only the Brazilian’s second appearance he was shown up by the European champions and given a torrid afternoon by Mohamed Salah.

Arsenal had weathered a storm to get in at half time only 1-0 down but were blown away by the Egyptian in 10 second-half minutes.

He wriggled away from Luiz in the penalty area in the 49th minute, before the Brazilian decided to try and tug him back, conceding a blatant spot kick.

And on the stroke of the hour mark, Luiz attempted to ferry Salah into touch, only to be comprehensively beaten on the inside by Liverpool’s Egyptian King.

Luiz couldn’t keep pace as he attempted to back track and saw Salah slot in a wonderful second goal. It was a sign of things to come for Arsenal fans. 


David Luiz was shown up by Liverpool and Mohamed Salah in a 3-1 defeat last August

Chelsea, 2020

Luiz’s return to Stamford Bridge as an Arsenal player was a predictably unhappy one.

And he has his defensive partner in crime, Shkodran Mustafi, to thank for it.

The German international played a horrendously underhit back pass to Bernd Leno, allowing Tammy Abraham to run through on goal.

Abraham knocked the ball round the goalkeeper and looked primed to sweep the ball into an empty net before Luiz arrived on the scene.

Even as Mustafi recovered to block off the goal line, Luiz attempted to win the ball back by tackling his man from behind.

He promptly fouled the Chelsea striker, gave away a penalty and received a straight red card for the cynical challenge. 

David Luiz made an unhappy return to Stamford Bridge as an Arsenal player earlier this year

Luiz was shown a straight red card after going straight through the back of Tammy Abraham

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