On a scale of 1 to 10, if 10 is your average Swansea fan and 1 is your average Bradford fan, Matt Duke is probably in the high -20s right now. As if losing a Cup Final isn’t bad enough, he has to contend with the fact he also got a red card. Still, with Bradford already 3-0 down, he can probably console himself to the fact that a comeback wasn’t really on the cards.
He’s not the first player, and certainly not the last player, to get sent off in a final nor the first to get a straight red. He’s not even the first goalkeeper to suffer the fate, so he shouldn’t beat himself up about it too much; Fabian Barthez is still crying into his cereal about events in 2004.
So, who else has seen a straight red in a final? You’re all thinking Zidane, aren’t you? Well, he’s not in the team for one simple reason; we decided that only club competitions count. Until Matt Duke ups his game and gets sent off in a World Cup Final for England then Zinedine can stay at home. No place either, then, for the Argentinian Pedro Monzan, the first man to be shafted by Jurgen Klinsmann in a World Cup Final. And, seeing as someone from this team is likely to be sent off, we’ve gone for a very defensive midfield pairing, so no place for the Maradona of the Carpathians.
Like Duke, Zidane and Monzan some of these players were left to rue their cards in the changing room but, like Hagi, the lucky ones were able to come back at the end of the game, their misdemeanour forgiven and forgotten.
Sent off vs Barcelona, Champions League 2006
Result: Lost 2-1
Matt Duke should be proud of his achievements, he is in exalted company when it comes to cup final keepers and marching orders. However, with typical Teutonic efficiency, Lehmann outdid him. Not only sent off in the biggest club cup competition in the world but also the first person ever to be sent off in it. And after only 18 minutes. Stick that in yer pipe and smoke it, Oliver Kahn.
Sent off vs Velez Sarsfield, Intercontinental Cup 1994
Result: Lost 2-0
This is probably not a game that Costacurta wants to remember. We imagine a lot of stereotypical hand gestures and groin clutches aimed in the general direction of anyone who brings it up in his presence. A penalty, a sloppy backpass and, the coup de grace, a red card. Costacurta was that good a player, though, that in later years Nemanja Vidic and Gary Cahill both paid tribute to his achievement.
Sent off vs Everton, FA Cup 1985
Result: Won 1-0
There was something in the air across Britain in the mid-1980s. Apart from the stench of Thatcherite polices, oh, a little bit of politics, folks. Roy Aitken had been sent of in the Scottish Cup Final in 1984, watching as Celtic lost to Aberdeen, and then in 1985, Kevin Moran became the first man to be sent off in an FA Cup Final. It’s funny to see the Man Utd players’ reaction to the red card considering that these days that tackle would be an instant red, a 12 match ban and public execution. Still, that Whiteside goal.
Sent off vs Feyenoord, UEFA Cup 2002
Result: Lost 3-2
Jens Lehmann doesn’t seem to have much luck in European based cup finals. When he’s not being sent off, himself, his defenders are making a right balls-up and getting themselves sent off. This was Kohler’s final game before he retired and, after making over 600 appearances for club and country, he was probably hoping to play for a little more than 31 minutes. Taribo West almost made the team but we think laughing at poor old Jurgen is even more fun than Taribo’s hair.
Sent off vs Rangers, Scottish League Cup, 2011
Result: Lost 2-1
2-1 down, a last ditch corner, the keeper is up and your arch-rivals have just broken from the edge of their box. Pop quiz, hot-shot, what do you do? What do you do? Obviously, your first choice is win the ball back, beat 3 men and rifle home an equaliser. If that won’t work just push someone over. Done and done. A final cup treat for the now defunct Rangers.
Sent off vs Aston Villa, League Cup 1994
Result: Lost 3-1
We guess that all the Man Utd fans who got so irate about Luis Suarez and his antics in the 2010 World Cup hadn’t made the decision to become Utd fans in 1994. Perhaps that yellow and green monstrosity was just too much. With Racist Ron Atkinson’s son, Dalian, looking to seal the game with his second, the Kewell of Kirovohrad stuck out a sneaky arm to deny him. Queue a red card, a chorus of boos and tears from Kevin ‘Just a yellow one please’ Keegan.
Sent off vs Internacional, Copa Libertadores 2006
Result: Lost 4-3 over 2 legs
There’s a time and a place to be sent off in a cup final. The time would be about 93 mins and the place would be the comfort zone. Josue probably agrees with us. The ref, however, thought he’d shake things up a little bit and out came a red for this after 9 minutes. For what, you say? Exactly? If Kevin Moran hadn’t done that in 1985 he’d have been sent off. How times have changed. Credit where credit is due, though, 30 minutes later he evened it up with a straight red for Fabinho. Nuts.
Sent off vs Lazio, Coppa Italia 2004
Result: Lost 4-2 over 2 legs
Enough of that namby-pamby stuff and back to real tackles for real red cards with the potential threat of real injuries. At 2-0 down with only 7 minutes left on the clock what have you got to lose? When you are Igor Tudor and you are so injury prone the 1st leg post-game rub down will probably rule you out of the 2nd leg you have nothing to lose. So why not believe you can fly?
Sent off vs Colo Colo, Intercontinental Cup 1991
Result: Won 3-0
Back to Tokyo for some off the ball, and sadly mostly off camera, lashings out. A solid 3-0 win for Red Star was marred by a red card for…well, we’re not entirely sure but a smack in the face seems like the best bet. At first there’s a coming together, then there’s a little chat and then, right on the edge of the screen, Savicevic starts to get a little more insistent. The next thing we know someone is rolling around on the floor and someone is storming off. Where’s Sky and their cameras when you need them?
Sent off vs Man Utd, Champions League 2008
Result: Lost 6-5 on penalties
Forget 2012, Didier’s stand-out moment in a Champions League final is his schoolgirl slap of Nemanja Vidic in 2008. The third ‘coming together’ of the pair in the space of 2 years meant Slippery John Terry was forced to miss the crucial penalty, perhaps fueling his alleged racist tendencies. Fair play to Nemanja, he didn’t milk it, in fact it looks like he just wanted a massive brawl.
Sent off vs Napoli, Coppa Italia 2012
Result: Lost 2-0
The Coppa Italia is a hot-bed of red cards and Fabio pipped fellow Italian, homophobia’s Antonia Cassano, to the final spot in the team. Mostly because Cassano was only sent off for throwing a hissy-fit and partly because we couldn’t find a clip of him then taunting the ref with the devil horns. Still, Quag deserves his spot for a well placed elbow on his MMA debut. Perfect connection with the nose despite his attacker coming from behind. Textbook self-defence.