A bad tempered cup tie between Atlético Madrid and Barcelona on Wednesday evening, with the locals in particular putting in some hard tackles, and players clashing as they came off the field at the break. To everyone’s surprise, Atleti captain Gabi didn’t reappear for the restart, and it later transpired that he had been shown a second yellow card by referee Gil Manzano for (according to his report) “pointing a finger at him and making technical observations about some of his decisions”. Check out our “White Stick” section for what that might have been about! Simeone’s side ended with nine men after Mario Suárez was also given a second booking (some will say an hour or so too late), and Raúl García picked up his third caution in the competition, which means that he too must sit out the next cup game, which obviously will be next season after they were knocked out on the night. Elsewhere two other players reached the three caution threshold, Athletic’s Laporte and Espanyol’s Alvaro, and they will have to miss the first leg of the semi-finals between the two teams.

The aggressive atmosphere spread into the weekend, with a season high 76 yellow cards and seven red. On Saturday Celta coach Berizzo picked up his second red card of the season for coming on to the pitch to protest the referee’s decision to award a penalty against his side, the disciplinary committee turning down his appeal even though the referee changed his mind about the penalty in the end. Elche’s Damián Suárez got his marching orders after picking up a second booking against Granada, and on Sunday Getafe’s Escudero and Almería’s Hemed were both dismissed in the same match for the same reason. Later on Espanyol keeper Kiko Casilla was sent off against Sevilla shortly before half time for handling outside of the area, and Villarreal assistant coach Juan Uría was sent to the stands for protesting, and on Monday Valencia’s Cancelo also took the long walk for a second bookable offence.

The two coaches both picked up two match bans, and all the rest will have to sit out next weekend’s games together with nine other players who completed the five yellow card cycle. Three of those, Orellana (Celta), Lillo (Eibar) and Abdoulaye Ba (Rayo), were the first of the season to reach the ten card limits, whilst the others, Iraola (Athletic), José Rodríguez (Deportivo), Abraham (Eibar), Sergi Darder (Málaga), Banega (Sevilla) and Otamendi (Valencia), all picked up their fifth. (04.02.15)

PS One of Damián Suárez’s bookings was cancelled on appeal, so the one match ban was also removed.

(* suspension pending disciplinary meeting decision)

Villains Yellow cards Red cards (straight) Games banned Total points
Gabi (Atlético) 11 2 3* 16
Damián Suárez (Elche) 12 1 3* 16
Barral (Levante) 9 1 (1) 2 13
Orellana (Celta) 11 0 2* 13
Lillo (Eibar) 11 0 2* 13
Alvaro (Espanyol) 11 0 2* 13
Mandzukic (Atlético) 12 0 1 13
Alexis (Getafe) 5 1 (1) 5 12
Rodrigo (Valencia) 6 2 (1) 3 12
Mario Suárez (Atlético) 9 1 2 12
Arbilla (Espanyol) 9 1 2 12
Weligton (Málaga) 9 1 2 12
Abdoulaye (Rayo) 10 0 2* 12
Ramos (Real Madrid) 11 0 1 12
De Paul (Valencia) 4 1 (1) 5 11
Muniain (Athletic) 6 1 (1) 3 11
Navarro (Levante) 6 1 (1) 3 11
Dubarbier (Almería) 8 1 2 11
Fede Cartabia (Córdoba) 8 1 2 11
Rodrigues (Elche) 8 1 2 11
Thomas (Almería) 10 0 1 11
Camacho (Málaga) 10 0 1 11
Raúl Baena (Rayo) 10 0 1 11
Dani Parejo (Valencia) 10 0 1 11