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18th Jul 2017

Referee in Manchester United’s latest friendly victory tried to give Antonio Valencia a black card

How bizarre

Patrick McCarry

Antonio Valencia gets one of the most bizarre red cards you’ll ever see.

Manchester United picked up their second preseason friendly victory on the trot but they had to do it the hard way.

United beat Real Salt Lake 2-1 after coming back from a goal down. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Romelu Lukaku – his first goal for United – found the target for the visitors.

Jose Mourinho’s side had to play out the final half an hour with  just 10 men, however, as Antonio Valencia was red-carded for a challenge on Sebastien Saucedo. The tackle was spicy enough and came after the pair had been involved in a couple of robust challenges.

Still, given the preseason nature of the clash, referee Allan Chapman approached Mourinho and suggested he substitute Valencia.

This would be akin to GAA’s black card – a player being sent from the field of play for an offence only to be replaced for the remainder of the game by a teammate.

Mourinho refused the offer, though, and the Ecuadorian was sent straight off. Post-match, Mourinho told reporters why the game had been held up before the decision was made. He said:

“[It] was because the referee asked me to change the player and I didn’t because I don’t agree with the card because Saucedo was really aggressive in second half.

“That’s what happens. Some other actions were a bit dangerous.”

One wonders if Mourinho really understood what the referee was really trying to hint at just before – left with no option – he sent Valencia off.

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