For the second season in succession, Steven Gerrard has found himself culpable for the crumbling of a lengthy Liverpool winning streak.
The Reds skipper stamped on Manchester United’s Ander Herrera and was immediately red carded to complete a 38-second cameo (a well-earned appearance bonus) as his blood and thunder approach of getting his side back into the match backfired emphatically.
His dismissal was undoubtedly a major factor behind the Merseysiders’ 2-1 reverse against their fiercest foes, a loss that brought their 21-game domestic unbeaten run to a halt.
Last season the 34-year-old’s infamous slip against Chelsea that presented Demba Ba with the chance to score what ultimately proved to be a decisive strike in the Blues’ 2-0 triumph at Anfield to effectively end Liverpool’s title hopes.
The latest ignominy to have befallen the Kop legend was more self-inflicted than unfortunate and this moment of madness has prompted the bwin historians to rank it alongside some more speedy sendings off.
Keith Gillespie’s dismissal against Reading ranks alongside the most brain-dead moves in the history of football, rendering Gerrard’s red rational by comparison.
Within 12 seconds of coming on (though play hadn’t officially restarted, so it should technically be counted as no seconds) the Ulsterman forearm smashed Stephen Hunt in the face and was given his marching orders.
Though with his Blades colleagues trailing 2-0 at the time, Gillespie’s red was arguably not as consequential as the Liverpool man’s.
This quick culling topped Dave Kitson’s effort of 37 seconds set earlier in the campaign.
The red-headed Royals forward went overboard in his attempt to tackle Patrice Evra, though his side managed to hold on for a goalless Old Trafford draw with ten men.
Blackburn goalkeeper Tim Flowers’ kit would’ve been clean enough to go straight back in the bag after his ejection from Rovers’ 1-1 draw with Leeds.
He was dismissed after 72 seconds of the first whistle following a last-man chop down of Brian Deane.
A professional foul is what did for Wigan’s Andreas Johansson too, who hauled down Arsenal substitute Freddie Ljungberg in a 4-2 final-day reverse.
It proved significant for three reasons – the first is that it enabled Thierry Henry to complete a hat-trick in the final game at Highbury, the second is that said win ensured the Gunners would finish above Tottenham in a heated 2005/06 top-four battle.
The third is that Johansson became the first Premier League player to be sent off having failed to touch the ball.