Toure banned for final Champions League group match after cynical chop... but was his booking deliberate? He wouldn't be the first - Beckham, Ramos and Alonso have all been guilty of canny cautions

By Craig Hope

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Yaya Toure will miss Manchester City’s final Champions League group match following a scything challenge which earned a yellow card during the dying embers of their 4-2 victory over Viktoria Plzen.

The midfielder chopped down Roman Hubnik in the 92nd minute to pick up the booking which means he will serve his one-match suspension before the knockout stages begin.

Toure had only entered the action in the 65th minute with the score at 1-1 and he made an immediate impact, helping to lay on City’s second for Samir Nasri.

Chopped: Yaya Toure scythes down Viktoria Plzen's Roman Hubnik to pick up a yellow card and one-game ban

Chopped: Yaya Toure scythes down Viktoria Plzen's Roman Hubnik to pick up a yellow card and one-game ban

Really? The referee is left with no choice but to caution the Manchester City midfielder

Really? The referee is left with no choice but to caution the Manchester City midfielder

Yellow: Firat Aydinus duly flashes the card which means Toure will miss the final group match against Bayern Munich

Yellow: Firat Aydinus shows the card which means Toure will miss the final group match against Bayern Munich

The hosts eventually ran out comfortable victors but Bayern Munich’s win over CSKA Moscow maintained their hold at the top of Group D.

It means City will have to win and score at least three goals in Munich to advance as group winners.

They will travel to Bavaria for the fixture minus Toure, but he will be free of his ban and all bookings when the round of 16 kicks off in February.

So was Toure’s a canny caution? He certainly wouldn’t be the first player to enter the referee’s notebook in a Machiavellian manner. Sportsmail investigates…

David Beckham – England v Wales, 2004

It was during a World Cup qualifier against Wales that the England captain, knowing he would miss the following game because of a rib injury, took the decision to collect a caution.

Smart move? David Beckham later claimed he had been 'clever' in picking up the booking against Wales which meant he would serve a one-game ban while injured

Smart move? David Beckham later claimed he had been 'clever' in picking up the booking against Wales which meant he would serve a one-game ban while injured

Beckham cleaned up his disciplinary record with a foul on Ben Thatcher late in the game and later declared: ‘I'm sure some people thought I did not have the brains to be that clever but I do have the brains to be that clever.

‘When I realised I had picked up an injury that would keep me out of the game against Azerbaijan I thought, “Let's get the yellow card out of the way”.’

Beckham, though, was widely criticised for his action and was forced to issue an apology.

‘In an interview I was asked a question and made a frank and honest admission to counter the negative speculation,’ he said.

Smash: Beckham injured his ribs in a collision with Ben Thatcher and was later booked for a foul on the same player

Smash: Beckham hurt his ribs in a clash with Ben Thatcher and was later booked for a foul on the same player

‘I now know that was wrong and apologise to the Football Association, the England manager, my team-mates and all England fans for this.

‘I know that as captain you are in a privileged position and must always abide by FIFA's code of fair play, something which I have always done throughout my career.

‘On this occasion I made a mistake.’

John Terry – Chelsea v Wolves, 2011

Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas was forced to defend his captain following the 90th-minute booking which ensured his ban would be served in the Carling Cup rather than Premier League.

Time-waster: John Terry was booked when he dallied over a throw-in playing for Chelsea against Wolves

Time-waster: John Terry was booked when he dallied over a throw-in playing for Chelsea against Wolves

Terry was cautioned for time wasting with Chelsea cruising to a 3-0 victory. He took an age to take a throw-in and was duly shown yellow by referee Lee Mason.

Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos – Ajax v Real Madrid, 2010

With a place in the knockout stage already assured with a game to spare, Jose Mourinho was accused of deliberately instructing his players to clean their record.

In the penultimate match and with Madrid leading 4-0 against Ajax, Alonso dallied over a free-kick and Ramos a goal-kick, both players incurring second yellow cards and a suspension for the irrelevant final group match against Auxerre.

Off you go: Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos is dismissed against Ajax

Off you go: Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos is dismissed against Ajax

Seeing red: Xabi Alonso was also given his marching orders

Seeing red: Xabi Alonso (left) was also given his marching orders

It was alleged that Mourinho had told substitute goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek to relay a message via Iker Casillas that his players should get themselves sent off.

Moruninho was subsequently hit with a one-match ban and was also fined €40,000 (33,473).

Alonso and Ramos were fined €20,000 (16,738) each, Casillas was fined €10,000 (8,370) and Dudek €5,000 (4,185).

Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos – Real Madrid v Galatasaray, 2013

The Spain duo were at it again three seasons later when accused of collecting dubious bookings in a quarter-final clash.

At it again? Ramos was accused of picking up a deliberate booking against Galatasaray last season

At it again? Ramos was accused of picking up a deliberate booking against Galatasaray last season

Madrid were 3-0 up in the first leg against Galatasaray when Alonso was booked for back-chat in the 84th minute and Ramos for kicking the ball away in added time.

Andres Iniesta – Barcelona v Shakhtar Donetsk, 2011

Officials during this quarter-final alleged that Iniesta deliberately got himself booked in a bid to serve his ban before the semi-finals of the competition.

The Spain midfielder failed to retreat the full distance from a free-kick and was flashed a yellow card.

The case was put before UEFA and Iniesta escaped sanction and was free to play against Real Madrid in the last-four stage, Barca eventually lifting the trophy following victory over Manchester United at Wembley.

 


The comments below have not been moderated.

Everybody does it, in the league too. Rooney (and several others) will have a 1 match ban if he gets another yellow - just watch and see which match he gets it in in order to select which match he'll miss.

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If he did, there's nothing wrong with it. It's in the rules. They should just wipe the record clean after the group games then this charade wouldn't need to happen.

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This is terrible. How can he do this? I've never heard of this sort of thing happening before. Are you so short of something to write about that you have to come up with this crap? Come on Suarez, pick your nose or something so the press has something interesting to report.

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If Uefa would just reset the cards after the group this wouldn't happen. Nothing wrong with what toure did

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Absolute nonsense story. He could of just sat out the Bayern game and had his yellows wiped at the end of the group stage, so there is no point in this apparent"intentional" yellow. Just a terrible attempt at a tackle and a terrible attempt at an article.

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All I know is that the yellow card won me 350 just as my Hong Kong freind, Mr Woo said it would.

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no, it didn't! it was a right decision...the first place in the group is lost

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Imagine england playin in the world cup final,they winning 1-0 and we in injury time,30 secs left.the opposition have taken a shot at goal,its beat the keeper and about to go in but player on the line handles it away sumhow...penalty!!! Player sent off. The opposition steps up to take the kick ..its over the bar ref blows full time...the player sent off is a hero....

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The funny thing is when Mourinho told his Real Madrid players to do this last year, the British press and the majority of fans had a right old moan. Why don't people have such a problem with it now?

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Nothing new here.its not the first and it surely wont be the last.

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