Tuesday, October 25, 2011

25 October 2009 - There's Something To Be Said For Consistency

On 25 October 2009, Manchester United center back Nemanja Vidić received a 90th-minute red card against Liverpool--his third ejection in three consecutive games against the Reds.

In both of the teams' meetings the previous season, Vidić failed to make it to the final whistle and both ended as Liverpool victories. The first, at Anfield in September 2008, saw the defender receive a second yellow card in the 90th minute as the Reds edged to a 2-1 win. In the return fixture in March, he drew a straight red for a 76th-minute foul on Steven Gerrard, who had gotten through on a clear goalscoring opportunity. Liverpool won 1-4.

Things got no better for Vidić in the next meeting. Playing at Anfield, Fernando Torres put the hosts up 1-0 in the 65th minute after fending off pressure from Rio Ferdinand and driving the ball over Edwin Van der Sar into the roof of the net. Ten minutes later, Vidić earned his first yellow card of the day.

His second came in the 90th minute. With Dirk Kuyt about to blow past him to latch onto a deep ball, the Serbian defender delivered a flying challenge that stopped Kuyt cold. Referee Andre Marriner then produced a yellow and a red card in quick succession. (It was the first of two reds on the day, as Javier Mascherano joined Vidić with a stoppage-time exit.) And David N'Gog's strike in the sixth minute of stoppage time sealed the 2-0 win for Liverpool.

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