As far as red cards go – they do not get much more ridiculous than this one from Juan Mata.
The Spaniard picked up two stupid bookings in the space of two minutes to leave Manchester United with their backs against the wall in their Premier League visit to West Bromwich Albion.
His first yellow was given for foolishly preventing Darren Fletcher from taking a quick free-kick, and his second came almost immediately for an equally needless and cynical trip on the same player.
What makes this sending off so strange is the identity of the culprit. Mata is usually impeccably behaved – the perfect professional on the pitch, and he seems the perfect gentleman off it as well!
But, having only collected three bookings in 41 matches for the Red Devils previously this season, he went and picked up two within as many minutes, and can have no complaints about his early bath.
Mata’s uncharacteristic act of ill-discipline – his first red card in England – left United with 65 minutes to play a man down at The Hawthorns, where they are looking for a third successive win.
Half-time: West Bromwich Albion 0-0 Manchester United
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