Fabregas effect: Five brilliantly bizarre Premier League red cards
On what turned out to be an embarrassing night for Jose Mourinho’s recently-crowned Premier League champions (13/8 with Coral to retain their crown), Chelsea suffered a 3-0 thrashing at the hands of Tony Pulis’ West Bromwich Albion.
However, the game was overshadowed by a controversial sending off, when Spanish playmaker Cesc Fabregas received a bizarre red card for hitting Chris Brunt in the face with a precise dinked effort from distance, when play had been halted after a scuffle among both sets of players.
Following the Spaniard’s absurd dismissal, here are five other abnormal Premier League red cards.
Javier Mascherano v Manchester United
More bizarre for his outrageous reaction, Mascherano truly lost his head in a heated meeting with bitter rivals United.
The Argentine defensive anchor is known for his aggressive approach and, after continuously appealing his and Fernando Torres’ earlier yellow cards, he was given his marching orders, leading to theatrics, suitably at the Theatre of Dreams.
Watch Mascherano’s ridiculous red card and overreaction at Old Trafford, while Sky Sports pundits debate the incident.
Cristiano Ronaldo v Manchester City
With the Red Devils leading through a first-half Wayne Rooney strike, Portuguese winger Ronaldo then gave City a glimmer of hope by picking up a strange red card.
After clumsily taking out Shaun Wright-Phillips, the booked winger then opted to punch the ball down with his two hands, instead of heading towards goal from a corner.
The already cautioned United star was shown no sympathy from Howard Webb, who dismissed him, despite protesting he thought he had heard the whistle being blown.
See Ronaldo see red for his bizarre incident against United’s close city rivals.
Youssouf Mulumbu v West Ham United
Hot-headed Mulumbu was flashed with a red card, and handed a three-match ban, following his moment of madness against the Hammers in 2013.
The Baggies midfielder had just retained possession but, after a harmless brush with West Ham’s Gary O’Neil, he rapidly lost the plot, lifting the ball and ferociously booting it towards his Australian opponent.
Watch Mulumbu lose his head at Upton Park, much to the delight of Hammers boss Sam Allardyce.
Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer v Aston Villa
In one of the most memorable and controversial moments in top-flight history, both Newcastle United players Bowyer and Dyer stunningly came to blows with each other during a clash with Villa.
Inevitably, the two feisty Tyneside midfielders were shown red for their bust-up, undoubtedly leading to an awkward encounter down the tunnel and in their own dressing room after departing proceedings.
See one of the most bizarre moments in top-flight history here.
Steven Gerrard v Manchester United
With Gerrard set to fly off to the US to join LA Galaxy, Anfield’s stalwart skipper was introduced at half-time by manager Brendan Rodgers in his final Reds appearance against United, with the Northern Irishman hoping his reliant captain could change fortunes (9/2 for next season’s title).
However, after just 38 seconds on the pitch, Gerrard was sensationally sent off for a horrendous stamp on United playmaker Ander Herrera, leading to a rapturous reaction form the Red Devils faithful.
Watch all 38 seconds of Gerrard’s final Liverpool appearance against the Red Devils.