It must be considered one of football’s greatest mysteries how Marcos Rojo never got sent off for Manchester United, and he has reminded us just how remarkable that was.
The Argentinian received 23 yellow cards during his 76 Premier League games for Man Utd – a rate of roughly one every three games.
Since leaving Old Trafford, Rojo has returned to South American football and this week he took his place in the Boca Juniors’ line-up for their heated Superclasico derby against River Plate. That was probably always a recipe for disaster, and perhaps the only real surprise was that it took until the 97th minute for the defender to get himself sent off.
With Boca leading 1-0 deep into second-half injury time, Rojo challenged for a header on a high-bouncing ball on the edge of his own box against Matias Suarez. Of course, he challenged for it with his foot, and it was Suarez’s head that he connected with, not the ball, but aside from that it was textbook.
Former Man Utd man Rojo, who had already been booked, was immediately shown a red card, although not without his customary almost puppy-like bewilderment at the realisation he wasn’t strictly allowed to kick people.
The match was ultimately settled by Dario Benedetto’s second-half strike in front a 57,000 fans at La Bombonera.