Five English Premier League games with the highest red cards

Published on: 22 February 2023

Ghanaian football enthusiasts love the English Premier League. Aside from being one of the most exciting leagues globally, it has extensively featured some of Ghana's best footballers, like Michael Essien and Thomas Partey.

Ghanaian punters are known to leverage premium bookmaker apps with an attractive homepage to stake on top Premier League fixtures.

Indeed, top Premier League fixtures are savored for the abundance of thrill, energy, and unpredictability they present. And yes, some of these games have produced a spectacular number of red cards.

This article discusses five Premier League matches with the highest red cards.

Southampton 0-3 West Brom – April 27, 2013

On April 27, 2013, Southampton and West Brom faced off on the pitch, with tempers boiling high even before the whistle.

Inevitably, a bulk of these tempers spilled on the pitch, with players getting involved in fierce confrontations. By the 70th minute, Marc-Antoine Fortune and Gaston Ramirez earned themselves red cards, with the referee dismissing both from the pitch.

The loss of one man appeared to hurt Southampton more than West Brom, with the latter bagging a goal via Lukaku just minutes later.

Could Southampton find a way back? NO was the resounding answer as Danny Fox added a second in the 77th minute.

Southampton's woes knew no end as Danny Fox lost his composure, launching into a career-ending, double-footed challenge.

After the game, Southampton's coach, Pochettino clawed into his players, labeling their dismal performance the worst his team had delivered up to that time.

Well, while we may forget Pochettino's sullen face at the post-match interview, we can forget that the match delivered an incredible three red cards.

Portsmouth 1-1 Sunderland – February 9, 2010

The 2010 English Premier League match between Portsmouth and Sunderland, played on February 9, saw an eventful match with a total of three red cards being issued.

It didn't take long before hell started breaking loose. By the 12th minute, the first red card of the game was brandished at Portsmouth's Ricardo Rocha, who was sent off for tripping Sunderland's Darren Bent in the penalty area.

Ask for Bent for the spirit of sportsmanship another day as he neatly buried the resulting penalty in the net. If the referee thought he was done with his red cards, he couldn't be wronger.

By the 53rd minute, Sunderland's Lee Cattermole earned a dismissal from the pitch via a second yellow card.

The tempo of aggression was further raised in the 87th minute when David Myler got a red card, making it a record-tying three red cards in a single league match.

Portsmouth would display heart-moving bravado in rallying back to the game via a miraculous Aruna Dindane goal in the 96th minute. By the time the referee blew the final whistle, fans had been fed into a stupor with fun, tantrums, and controversies.

Man City 1-2 Tottenham – November 9, 2008

The match between Manchester City and Tottenham on November 9, 2008, was another fiery affair that saw three red cards issued.

City was gliding seamlessly through the game, enjoying a 1-0 lead. But things began to unfold by the 25th minute.

The first catastrophe landed on the blue side when Gelson Fernandes got a second yellow card and was thrown off the pitch.

Tottenham showed their gratitude to Gelson by quickly slotting one goal in with the maestro, Luka Modric, expertly setting up Darren Bent.

The game saw the pressure gauge being raised by the minute. The last 10 minutes were overfed with tempers and aggression. The referee attempted to diffuse the heated clime sending Assou-Ekotto and Richard Dunne with red cards.

While Tottenham would eventually win the match, the game notoriously etched itself in Premier League history for three red cards issued.

Chelsea 4-4 Aston Villa – December 26, 2007

Call it thrilling, call it controversial, we all agree the Chelsea vs. Aston Villa match on December 26, 2007, was a feisty affair.

A total of three red cards were issued during the match, with two being given to Aston Villa players and one to a Chelsea player.

The red cards came raining down in the 30th minute. Gareth Barry (playing for Aston Villa) got the first slice after his aggressive tackle on Frank Lampard.

Aston Villa's woes would compound when Wilfred Bouma joined Gareth on the red card list after his foul on Drogba.

One good turn deserves another, doesn't it?

Well, Michael Essien thought so and decided to return the favor Aston Villa has so benevolently poured on Chelsea, getting a red card for an aggressive tackle on Bouma.

The match, laden with thrills and turns, culminated in a memorable 4-4 draw, with goals from Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard, Andriy Shevchenko, and Michael Ballack for Chelsea and goals from Gabriel Agbonlahor, Ashley Young, and two from Juan Pablo Angel for Aston Villa.

Newcastle 0-3 Aston Villa – April 2, 2005

On April 2, 2005, Newcastle United hosted Aston Villa in a Premier League fixture that saw tempers boil over on the pitch. In a highly physical and competitive match, the referee was forced to brandish a total of three red cards.

The first player to see red was Newcastle's Kieron Dyer, who was given his marching orders for a late challenge on Villa's Eirik Bakke.

Just minutes later, Villa's Steven Davis was also shown a red card for a reckless tackle on Lee Bowyer. The final red card of the match went to Newcastle's Lee Bowyer himself, who was given his second yellow card for dissent.

Despite playing with ten men for the majority of the match, Aston Villa managed to secure a 3-0 victory over their hosts, thanks to goals from James Milner, Darius Vassell, and Luke Moore.

There you go!

These five matches showcase just how intense the English Premier League can be and how referees have to be on top of their game to keep things in check.

With the high stakes and physical nature of the league, it's not surprising that tempers sometimes boil over, leading to red cards. However, the level of passion and excitement these games bring is unmatched, making the English Premier League one of the most entertaining leagues in the world.