The froth from Sunday's late game between Manchester United and Chelsea was provided by David Luiz's Sergio Busquets moment, as he goaded Rafael into kicking him before affording himself a cheeky little smile as he pretended to clutch his leg in pain.
This offended genteel British sensibilities on three counts: Luiz was faking injury, he was implying that football might possess a sense of humour, albeit a dark one, and perhaps most gravely, he was doing both as a foreigner.
Sir Alex Ferguson summed up the disgust quite nicely: "Luiz rolled about. You see that with these European, foreign and South American players. He [Da Silva] retaliates but Luiz quite clearly elbows him twice, then rolls about like a diving swan and that convinces the referee. He was smiling. It's bad. What kind of professional is that?"
While his prone position immediately inspired a mental jump to Busquets's seminal peek to check if he had got Thiago Motta sent off in a Champions League tie between Barcelona and Inter in 2010, Luiz's act was probably more comparable to Cristiano Ronaldo's infamous wink at the 2006 World Cup.
No matter that both Rafael and Wayne Rooney deserved to be sent off, the real villain was the underhand Latin player who didn't conform to English notions of fair play and masculinity.
That's not to say that Luiz was blameless - his actions were clearly distasteful. Yet they had no appreciable impact on the game itself as Rafael's petulant kick had already guaranteed a red card from referee Howard Webb.
It wasn't exactly an episode that is likely to burnish the image of football, but it was pretty incidental to the actual sport taking place.
Luiz's big grin did manage to overshadow another match-winning display from the remarkable Juan Mata - something the Spaniard is growing accustomed to. Indeed, by Sunday evening his 'goal' had already been taken off him and credited to Phil Jones after his shot took a nick off the United defender to find the bottom corner with three minutes remaining.
This is typical of Mata in that his brilliance has, to a certain degree, been obscured this season; somehow he retains the flavour of an unsung hero. The extensive praise he has received still feels underplayed, because there is a very strong argument that Mata should have been named the double player of the year - not Gareth Bale, nor indeed Robin van Persie.
Take our winner. Bale has undoubtedly been the player of 2013 so far. His more spectacular brand of football jumps out at you from the pitch or screen - it feels at times as though he can decide games on a whim. Yet for the first half of the season this Tottenham superstar was anything but a human wrecking ball laying waste to the Premier League.
By November, Bale had only scored four times. But come the New Year and, like a well financed For Your Consideration Oscar promotional campaign, he managed to harness his resources to influence voters when the awards season was firmly on their mind.
Robin van Persie suffered from the opposite phenomenon. Destructive and inspired in equal measure for much of the season, his significant blip unfortunately coincided with the period when opinions were being formed and voting ballots prepared.
Both of the above are brilliant players - that hardly needs to be said - yet still neither possess the ultra-consistency of Mata, who has contributed a quite unbelievable 18 goals and 26 assists in all competitions this season.
When was his blip? Did he have one? If so, it was almost undetectable. And we are not talking about Ray Parlour, always-does-a-job levels of consistency here: Mata is a player who decides games on a near weekly basis. Instead of sevens every match it's eights and nines.
This observer has covered Chelsea numerous times at Stamford Bridge this season and Mata is nearly always the best player on the pitch. His level of intelligence, careful yet spectacular use of the ball and those prescient, darting runs made him a formidable proposition.
And yesterday, just when Chelsea needed him the most to conjure up a vital win in the race for Champions League football, he delivered. The unfailingly likeable little playmaker cast his spell again.
So while Luiz was invoking fury with his grinning features, away from the hubbub Mata was doing what he does best, and what he has done more consistently than any other player in the Premier League this season.
Tom Adams - @tomEurosport
- - -
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: "Each madman to their own. I am in love and I am marrying Gina. I am 86 but I have a young heart." - Yes, it's the story they are all talking about: Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano is to marry a 36-year-old.
FOREIGN VIEW: Your star striker has just scored a fifth goal in a Serie A game and is in the hunt for a double hat-trick, so what do you do? If you are Lazio manager Vladimir Petkovic, you sub him off to be replaced by Louis Saha on 68 minutes. Poor Miroslav Klose.
COMING UP: Sunderland can move five points clear of relegation when they face Stoke City in tonight's 8pm kick-off. Prior to that we have live coverage of the League One play-off second legs between Yeovil and Sheffield United (13:30) and Brentford and Swindon (16:30). Oh, and Jan Molby gives us his verdict on the weekend's action.