Elche’s Botía is making a late run for our “Villains” award, and although he still has to go a bit to catch Espanyol’s Victor Sánchez, this Saturday he was shown his first red card of the season for kicking the ball in to the face of Málaga’s Iakovenko as he lay on the ground near the end of the match in the Rosaleda stadium. Did he do it deliberately, or was he just trying to clear the ball away to waste time? The club is appealing, but whatever the case his confrontation with referee Estrada Fernández afterwards didn’t help his cause. Botía’s team-mate Toño was also sent off the subs’ bench a few minutes earlier for throwing a ball on to the pitch.

Another five red cards over the weekend as well as the above, Espanyol’s Pizzi getting his marching orders for a second bookable offence later on in the game at Valladolid. Almería’s Suso was sent for an early bath for a hard tackle on Betis defender Perquis at the start of the second half of their Sunday mid-day game, and physical trainer Javier Reyes was sent to the stands for protesting soon afterwards. And two red cards in the Monday night match between Real Sociedad and Granada, Recio picking up a second booking some eight minutes after the restart (and also appearing to threaten the referee afterwards), and Mikel González following him down the tunnel just a couple of minutes later for a rash tackle on Iturra.

All will be joined on the sidelines for the next round of games by five more players who completed the bookings cycle, Godín (Atlético) and Rossi (Valladolid), who picked up their tenth yellow cards of the season, and Jordi Figuera and N’Diaye (Betis) and Zé Castro (Rayo), who were all shown their fifth. Rossi’s suspension will be served out in the rescheduled match against Real Madrid on Wednesday, the rest will miss the penultimate weekend of the season. (06.05.14)

PS Botía’s appeal was upheld as the committee was presented with video evidence that the incident was fortuitous, but they still banned him for two games for his insults to the referee, which means he misses the last two games of the season. Recio was luckier though, as the referee chose not to include his remarks in his report, so he will only have to miss the one match.

(* suspension pending disciplinary meeting decision)

Villains Yellow cards Red cards (straight) Games banned Total points
Víctor Sánchez (Espanyol) 20 3 5 28
Botía (Elche) 16 1 (1) 4* 22
Gálvez (Rayo Vallecano) 17 1 4 22
Alexis (Getafe) 17 1 3 21
Diogo Figueiras (Sevilla) 11 2 (1) 6 20
Saúl (Rayo Vallecano) 16 1 3 20
Duda (Málaga) 9 2 (2) 6 19
Jesús Gámez (Málaga) 12 1 4 18
Damián Suárez (Elche) 13 2 3 18
Iturra (Granada) 13 2 3 18
Barral (Levante) 14 1 3 18
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) 12 1 (1) 3 17
Sergio Sánchez (Málaga) 13 1 3 17
Iborra (Sevilla) 13 1 3 17
Busquets (Barcelona) 15 0 2 17
Iñigo Martínez (Real Soc) 11 1 4 16
Dubarbier (Almería) 12 1 3 16
Silva (Osasuna) 12 1 3 16
Filipe Luis (Atlético) 8 2 (1) 4 15
Aduríz (Athletic Bilbao) 10 1 4 15
Cala (Sevilla) 9 2 (1) 3 15
Amaya (Betis) 12 1 2 15
Nono (Betis) 12 1 2 15
Escudero (Getafe) 12 1 2 15