Liverpool star's manager PLEADS for more protection after brutal treatment in friendly

Liverpool winger Luis Diaz was subjected to brutal treatment at the hands of his opponents during Colombia’s pre-Copa America warm-up game against Bolivia at the weekend. 

A second-half foul on the 27-year-old instigated a mass brawl at Rentschler Field in Connecticut on Saturday. 

The game boiled over in the 66th minute following a reckless tackle by Bolivia's Hector Cuellar. Colombia were leading 3-0 thanks to three first-half goals in which 'Lucho' played a vital role. 

Jhon Arias’ fifth-minute opener came after Diaz collected a loose pass and made a driving run, leading to the ball falling to Arias inside the area. 

He then laid on Colombia’s second goal in the 25th minute when his low cross from the left flank found Jhon Cordoba, who spun and shot into the net. 

Three minutes before half time, Diaz then got on the scoresheet himself, marking the 100th goal of his career for both club and country.

Bolivia then took a much more aggressive strategy to prevent further goals which culminated in Cuellar’s dangerous lunge from behind as Diaz dribbled towards the touchline.

Diaz’s teammates reacted immediately to the challenge, confronting both the referee and Cuellar. 

The situation quickly escalated into a heated exchange during which Colombia's Daniel Muñoz and Bolivia's Cesar Menacho were both shown red cards after nearly coming to blows over the incident. 

Muñoz, who plays for Crystal Palace, will miss his country's next friendly match but will be available for Colombia’s Copa America campaign. Cuellar, despite being the instigator, only received a yellow card.

Diaz is going to be a huge part of Colombia’s Copa campaign, which kicks off against Paraguay on June 25. 

Colombia manager pleads for Diaz protection

And manager Nestor Lorenzo ahead of the tournament has PLEADED for officials to clamp down on the challenges aimed at his dangerman, having replaced him before the end against Bolivia. 

“People come to see Luis Diaz, I have to play with Luis Diaz,” Lorenzo told a press conference, according to AS

“If I have to take him out because the referee doesn't know how to protect him... I'm not saying that they hit him too much, but there were plays where we had to draw their attention and they happened to be within half a centimetre of a strong hit. 

“We told the assistant referee: 'Let him get a yellow card to stop this'. Maybe I am responsible for risking him (Luis Diaz).

"I would have liked him to play the whole game."

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