ESPN FC: Triple punishment
English clubs are more than three times as likely to finish a Champions League knockout game with 10 men than a Premier League match.
And over the last five seasons, English teams have had a man sent off in almost a quarter of their games in the Champions League’s last 16, last eight, semifinals or final.
Manchester City defender Martin Demichelis was shown a red card in the 2-0 defeat against Barcelona on Tuesday while Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny suffered the same fate against Bayern Munich 24 hours later as the Gunners also lost 2-0.
It took the total of dismissals incurred by English clubs to 10 in just 42 games in the Champions League’s knockout stages since 2010.
They have won only two of the ties when they have been reduced to 10 men: Manchester United’s 7-2 aggregate win over AC Milan in 2010, when they were 3-2 ahead in Italy before Michael Carrick was dismissed in the 90th minute, and Chelsea’s semifinal triumph against Barcelona in 2012, when John Terry got his marching orders during the 2-2 draw at the Nou Camp.
United also beat Bayern Munich in 2010 after Rafael da Silva was sent off at Old Trafford, but exited the competition on away goals having been defeated in the Allianz Arena. Bayern’s deciding goal, from Arjen Robben, came after the Brazilian’s departure.
And Sir Alex Ferguson’s team also went out last season following Nani’s dismissal against Real Madrid.
The other red cards -- all in losing causes -- were incurred by Chelsea’s Didier Drogba against Inter in 2010 and his teammate Ramires away at United in 2011, Tottenham’s Peter Crouch vs. Real Madrid in the same season and Robin van Persie, then with Arsenal, at Barcelona’s Camp Nou, also in the 2010-11 campaign.
After having a man sent off, English teams have only scored three goals and conceded 14 in those Champions League knockout ties with Chelsea the sole side to score with a numerical disadvantage. Drogba struck at Old Trafford in 2011 while Ramires and Fernando Torres found the net against Barcelona the following year.
But while English clubs are seeing more players dismissed in elite level of continental competition, they are less likely to be reduced to 10 men in the Premier League.
In 258 games this season, managers have named 516 teams and there have only been 35 red cards -- giving them, on average, a 93.2 percent chance of finishing with 11 men.
And since the summer of 2009, there have been 284 dismissals from 1,778 games, meaning that, as 3,556 teams were named, each had less than an eight percent chance of seeing a player expelled.