Ronaldo, Jordi Alba and the Biggest World Football Blunders of the Weekend
A pair of red cards from La Liga’s 22nd matchday highlights this installment of the Biggest World Football Blunders of the Weekend.
Not to be outdone, however, were some defensive mistakes from the Spanish top flight and Serie A, and Lyon fell to defeat in Ligue 1—partially because they played more than half Sunday’s match with 10 men.
Over the following slides, we’ll examine five of the most head-scratching moments from the weekend’s action.
5. Samuel Umtiti, Lyon
Just as it looked as though Lyon were about to pick up a head of steam going into Ligue 1 stretch drive, the wheels fell off.
Cedric Hountondji opened the scoring for Rennes at Route de Lorient midway through the second half, and any hopes the guests had of restoring level terms were obliterated when Samuel Umtiti saw red just before the half-time whistle.
Rennes midfielder Romain Alessandrini was the subject of the 20-year-old’s violent challenge, and bolstered by their numerical supremacy, the hosts doubled their advantage en route to a 2-0 win in the 66th minute through Ola Toivonen.
4. Jordi Alba, Barcelona
Barcelona slumped to their first defeat at Camp Nou this season on Saturday, and Jordi Alba’s ejection with 12 minutes remaining hardly helped their cause against a plucky Valencia side at Camp Nou.
Alexis Sanchez had scored early for the Catalans, but Daniel Parejo’s equaliser just before the break was followed shortly after the restart by Pablo Piatti’s go-ahead goal. Lionel Messi brought Barcelona back to level terms from the spot in the 54th minute, but just moments later Los Che were back in the driver’s seat, thanks to Paco Alcacer.
Then Alba put his side in an impossible position.
Already booked in the 51st minute, the Spain international capped an overall poor display when he picked up his second yellow card in the 78th for an unwarranted block on Sofiane Feghouli.
3. Daniele Bonera, AC Milan
Daniele Bonera is becoming a regular contributor to this list.
AC Milan dropped their first points of the Clarence Seedorf era on Saturday, and not surprisingly, it was a defensive gaffe from the 32-year-old that gifted Torino the early lead at the San Siro.
To be fair, Bonera found himself abandoned by his teammates as Ciro Immobile raced in on goal in the 17th minute. But his attempt at a challenge left him on his backside and allowed the 23-year-old a clear shot at goal, which he placed inside the right-hand corner.
Thankfully for Bonera and Milan, Adil Rami restored level terms shortly after the restart.
2. Suarez Esteban, Almeria/Cristian Herrera, Elche
Rarely is a goal such a product of comedy.
With the hour-mark approaching and Elche and Almeria scoreless on Sunday, Almeria goalkeeper Suarez Esteban’s laughable punch flew toward Elche’s Cristian Herrera, whose equally comical attempt at a volley left him on the floor.
Fortuitously for Herrera, however, the ball fell next to teammate Javi Marquez, whose shot deflected off Herrera’s leg before beating the out-of-position Esteban for what proved to be the match-winner.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid
Real Madrid were left frustrated at the new San Mames Sunday, as their disappointing 1-1 draw away to Athletic Bilbao kept them from leapfrogging archrivals Barcelona in the standings.
Jese and Ibai Gomez had traded goals within eight minutes of each other midway through the second half, but Madrid’s chances of scoring a late equaliser were dealt a fatal blow when talismanic forward Cristiano Ronaldo was given his marching orders in the 75th minute.
True, Carlos Gurpegi went down easily when he felt Ronaldo’s arm on his face, but the Ballon d’Or winner had immaturely put his hand up to motion a foul in the buildup before committing what the referee deemed to be a shove on his marker in the 75th minute.
Without their top goalscorer, Madrid were unable to find a second goal and wound up dropping their first points of 2014.