Top Five: Red card nightmares

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Hull City striker Yannick Sagbo received a red card for an incredible moment of madness against Norwich City at the weekend.

The Ivorian international attempted a ludicrous head-butt in Russell Martin’s direction, missing the ‘Norfolk Cafu’ but not the gaze of the referee.

Sagbo isn’t the only professional footballer to leave his team in the mire however, with history showing plenty of players suffering momentary lapses in discipline.

And, in ‘honour’ of the most recent discretion, we look back at five famous red card nightmares. Readers of a nervous disposition – look away now…

Eden Hazard – Swansea City v Chelsea

One of the more bizarre red cards in recent times, with the Belgian international sent-off for kicking a ball boy.

True, Charlie Morgan was time-wasting for the Swans, but Hazard had little defence after kicking the youngster in the ribs in an effort to get the ball back.

The Blues went on to lose the semi-final tie 2-0 on aggregate, whilst the Swans won the League Cup at Wembley a few weeks later.

Roy Keane – Manchester United v Manchester City

The Manchester United captain’s infamous challenge on Alfe Inge Haaland had been four years in the making.

Keane had damaged knee ligaments against Leeds in 1997, and the Norwegian international stood over the Irishman urging him to his feet. Not a man to forgive and forget, Keane subsequently took retribution in 2001 with a knee-high challenge.

He later admitted in his autobiography that he was out to hurt the defender, and he succeeded.

Joey Barton – Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City

Joey Barton’s red card in this FA Cup clash was something of a sub-plot for what turned out to be one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the competition.

3-0 down at the half-time whistle, the tough-tackling midfielder proceeded to get sent-off at the interval, approaching referee Rob Styles with some choice words that earned a second yellow card.

Barton already had a reputation as something of a hot-head back in 2004, and over the past nine years he has done little to dispel this assumption. Watch the red card, and the amazing comeback, below.

Zinedine Zidane – France v Italy

In his last game for France, Zidane signed-off in style – but not the way he would have hoped.

Having guided his nation to the World Cup final in 2006, the Real Madrid superstar had the chance to lift the trophy for a second time. And, he started well, scoring a penalty early in the match against Italy.

However, defender Marco Materazzi enticed Zidane into a head-butt during extra-time, and the rest, as they say, is history.

David Beckham – England v Argentina

Eight years before Zidane’s red card nightmare, David Beckham had his own moment to forget on the big stage.

The shining light of English football, Beckham’s bubble burst in a matter of seconds, after he flicked a meaningless kick at Diego Simeone.

A red card was brandished immediately, and the Three Lions went out on penalties. A national villain was born.

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