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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 March 2019

Jorginho should have had Wembley's fastest red card, then he flopped with a galloping penalty

Chelsea's Italian was at the centre of the drama as Manchester City won the League Cup after a shootout

The League Cup final may have been lacking goals as Chelsea took Manchester City to penalties, but it certainly didn't lack drama.

And at the centre of it all was Chelsea's Jorginho, the midfield metronome who has come to embody his side's recent struggles under beleaguered manager Maurizio Sarri.

The Italian wasted no time in making his mark on the match - and on City's Sergio Aguero.

The clock had barely started ticking...

It was literally a case of blink and you missed it as referee Jon Moss blew his whistle to start the match and Jorginho, lining up on the edge of the centre circle, charged straight into Aguero with a raised arm.

The incident happened right in front of the referee, although even the television replays struggled to deduce whether he was looking at it. And it was also tricky to see whether Jorginho connected with Aguero's chest or face, with the Argentine hitting the deck holding his head before making a miraculous recovery.

What was the time on the clock? one second. Beat that!

Should he have been sent off?

Had the incident happened anywhere else on the pitch and at a different time in the match then Jorginho would undoubtedly have seen red. There's an argument that reducing one team to 10 men from the outset would ruin the match, especially a cup final, as a spectacle.

Rules are rules however, and whether it's the first minute or the 90th, the officials have to abide by them and offer consistency.

It would have been the fastest red card ever

You'd have to be sent off before the whistle is blown to start the match to get a faster infringement than this one.

Liverpool's Steven Gerrard was sent off 43 seconds after coming on as a second half substitute against Manchester United in 2015, while Sheffield United's Keith Gillespie lasted 12 seconds against Reading in 2007, again after coming on as a sub.

There is, however, reports of a match in the UK where a player, Cross Farm Park Celtic striker Lee Todd, was sent off after two seconds in 2000 for swearing.

In a professional match, Giuseppe Lorenzo of Italian club Bologna was sent off after 10 seconds against Parma in 1990 for hitting an opponent.

What was Jorginho doing with that penalty?

Absurd penalty run-ups have become a thing in recent months, what with Paul Pogba and his ridiculous little trot approach.

And now we have the "Jorginho gallop".

A penalty shoot-out in a cup final is not the time to be horsing about, but Jorginho saw fit to add in a jump as if he was taking part in an equestrian event. Ederson dived to his left and comfortably saved as City went on to win the shootout.

Before this instance he had scored 11 times from the spot and missed once in his professional career.

His incidents were overshadowed by Kepa

Yes, thankfully for Jorginho, his teammate Kepa Arrizabalaga has made most of the headlines after another extraordinary incident when he refused to come off the pitch and be substituted for spot-kick expert Willy Caballero just before the penalty shootout.

Manager Sarri had a meltdown on the touchline. You can read more about the incident here.

Did Jorginho play well?

Aside from whacking Aguero, missing the penalty in embarrassing fashion and scything down Raheem Sterling in the second half with a tactical foul, he did well in frustrating City across two hours of football.

Chelsea were set up to stop City's free-flowing style and Jorginho was effective in sitting in front of the back four and keeping the ball, while allowing N'Golo Kante to forage further forward.

It wasn't pretty, and Chelsea's fans expect to see more attacking zest from a team that has cost hundreds of millions of pounds, but on this occasion the game plan worked and they were unfortunate to miss out on the silverware.

Updated: February 25, 2019 04:45 PM

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