It’s not exactly the sort of highlight Mexican international forward Raul Jimenez wanted to create in Wolves’ high-profile Premier League matchup against leader Manchester City.
Jimenez was the culprit of one of the most bizarre red cards in Premier League history when he managed to receive two yellow cards in the space of 30 seconds, resulting in an automatic sending-off.
It all happened in first-half stoppage time with Wolves deadlocked at 0-0 against Man City. First, Jimenez pulled back Rodri in midfield and was shown a caution by referee John Moss for stopping a promising attack.
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But after the whistle, Jimenez hung around the spot of the free kick, attempting to slow down the Man City restart and kill some more time as the halftime break neared. He failed to back off the ball by the 10 yards required by the Laws of the Game, and when he stuck out his leg and deflected the Man City free kick attempt, he left the referee with little choice. Just 30 seconds after showing him his first yellow, Moss brandished a second for delay of game, and the automatic red card followed:
Jimenez probably thought he could get away with being a nuisance on the free kick and that the referee would be lenient in the seconds that followed his first booking. But Man City’s Rodri was also clever in his own way. Seeing that Jimenez wasn’t complying with the regulation distance on the free kick, Rodri shot the ball in Jimenez’s vicinity knowing that contact with the ball by Jimenez would probably push the referee into action.
The Mexican forward has been one of the feel-good stories in the Premier League after scoring his first Premier League goal in his return from a horrific head injury. He has three goals and two assists in 16 appearances so far in 2021-22 and remains one of the most important players for a Wolves team hovering at mid-table.
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Stunned by the turn of events, Jimenez took his time coming off the field. He threw his headgear to the ground in frustration, each time jeered by the Man City fans. He’ll be suspended for Wolves’ next Premier League match at Brighton on Wednesday.
The visiting Wolves fans did applaud Jimenez as he plodded off the field, but social media wasn’t nearly as kind. The pundits laid into Jimenez, though some were also critical of the referee for issuing a soft first yellow.
One of the all-time stupid red cards from Raul Jimenez.
— Tom Williams (@tomwfootball) December 11, 2021
A risible piece of refereeing from Jonathan Moss. Raul Jimenez sent off for two bookings in quick succession. First was soft for a foul on Rodri, the second even softer for #wwfc striker blocking off Rodri’s attempt to take a quick free-kick. Where’s the common sense from Moss
— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) December 11, 2021
Absurd by Jimenez but Jon Moss is so so bad at controlling games too.
— Adam Crafton (@AdamCrafton_) December 11, 2021
Raul Jimenez has just been given the stupidest red card you’ll ever see. Booked for a challenge on Rodri, free-kick given on the halfway line, wouldn’t retreat then stuck his leg out to block it being taken. Second yellow and off. Daft.
— Rob Dawson (@RobDawsonESPN) December 11, 2021
Always a good second yellow when the ref literally still has the card in his hand from the first one
— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) December 11, 2021
Jimenez is absolutely distraught, can barely bring himself to walk off, throwing his headband to the floor. This is all extremely silly.
— Tim Spiers (@TimSpiers) December 11, 2021
Raúl Jiménez what on earth are you doing , that is totally embarrassing and unacceptable for a player of his experience #MCIWOL
— Josh Bunting (@Buntingfootball) December 11, 2021
Not sure if that was a harsh sending off but it’s definitely a stupid thing to do 10 seconds after you’ve just beeen booked
— Leo🇧🇼 (@mcfcIeo_) December 11, 2021
To be fair to Jimenez, that kind of thing happens all the time in the Premier League and 99 times out of 100 the ref does nothing.
— Alex Keble (@alexkeble) December 11, 2021
The first tackle he got the ball… never a yellow
— Michael Joseph Silva (@magicmick11) December 11, 2021
That first yellow for Jimenez is a joke. Tackle wasn’t even strong enough to put Rodri off balance. Really fascinating game ruined for no reason
— Aaron Moniz (@amonizfootball) December 11, 2021
It’s pretty hard to get a second yellow card from English refs, UNLESS you do something immediately after your previous offence! That’s so mindless from Jimenez
— Jonny Singer (@Jonny_Singer) December 11, 2021
what is wrong with jimenez? these guys had city right where they wanted them and he does that 🤣
— aden (@eyetestfb) December 11, 2021
Jimenez’s walk off was somehow funnier than his 48 second double yellow card, proper showman
— Paddy (@PaddyArsenal) December 11, 2021
Absolute madness from Jimenez. Can question the first booking but the second is crazy. It’s going to make the second half so much more difficult for Wolves – could be a game-changing moment #MCIWOL
— Michael Plant (@MichaelPlant82) December 11, 2021
The first one isn’t a yellow card, but just ridiculous to try block that free-kick. Rodri delayed and delayed, and then just fired it at him
— Peter Hall (@PeteHall86) December 11, 2021