Playing away to Manchester City is a challenging prospect for the world’s best football teams. Therefore, Wolves boss Bruno Lage would have been mighty pleased when his team were moments away from reaching the half-time break level in their Premier League game at the Etihad.
Unfortunately, Raul Jimenez spoiled it with a moment of madness.
Wolves had defended well throughout the first half, restricting City to a handful of chances. Part of their game plan appeared to be breaking up the flow of the match where they could, taking their time when tasked with restarting play.
This thinking may explain Jimenez’s behaviour.
Raul Jimenez has a minute to forget
Defending from the front, Jimenez received his first booking for stopping a City attack that began in their defence. After referee Jonathan Moss blew his whistle and took out the yellow, Jimenez turned and made a gesture that communicated his disapproval of that decision.
These actions made it appear as though Jimenez was playing up either for the cameras, the crowd, or to wind up the opposition.
His next move would only succeed in winding up the ref.
Jimenez proceeded to stand in front of the free-kick in a further bid to waste time. He stood closer than he should have and blocked the set-piece from being taken. Moss had enough, showing a second yellow card a mere 48 seconds after the first.
Jimenez reacted to the dismissal with his mouth agape, as though he had no idea of his wrongdoing. Perhaps the Mexican forward was in a trance during that sub-minute period. It’s one way to explain his bizarre actions.
The reaction to the incident didn’t solely focus on Jimenez. There were a few dissenting voices about Jon Moss’s second yellow. Should Moss have taken Jimenez aside instead of giving him another card?
A questionable call from Moss
Wolves put in an admirable shift against City. Unfortunately for them, it was not enough to hold off the home side. Frustratingly, the only goal of the game, scored by Raheem Sterling, came from a questionable penalty awarded by Moss.
The penalty resulted from a handball decision, which VAR even reviewed. Joao Moutinho was accused of blocking the ball illegally with his arm. From some camera angles, this appeared to be the case. However, others suggested that the ball actually hit Moutinho in the torso. Although there appeared to be enough reasonable doubt to reverse the decision, Moss chose to stick by his original call.