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Premier League: Joao Felix adds to debuts to forget

Joao Felix had a debut to forget for Chelsea on Thursday night, as he was sent off during his side's 2-1 Premier League defeat at Fulham, a result which piled the pressure on Blues head coach Graham Potter.

Portugal international Felix - who joined Chelsea this week on loan from Atletico Madrid for the rest of the season - had caught the eye at Craven Cottage, but it was the way he caught Fulham right-back Kenny Tete that got him into hot water with referee David Coote.

Felix was shown a straight red card just before the hour mark for that challenge and, as a result, he became the first player to be sent off on their Premier League debut since Federico Fazio was handed his marching orders for Tottenham against Manchester City in October 2014.

It was certainly a match to forget for Felix and Chelsea, with the Blues now 10/1 To Finish in Top 4 and 9/1 To Finish in Bottom Half of the standings, but the 23-year-old can at least take solace from the fact he is not the first player to endure a nightmare debut.

We take a look at some of the most memorably disastrous footballing debuts...

Jonathan Woodgate

Former England international Jonathan Woodgate must have been pinching himself when he sealed a dream move to Real Madrid from Newcastle United in 2004, but his Spanish switch soon turned sour, as injuries meant he had to wait over a year before making his debut.

There was plenty of attention on the defender when he finally made his bow against Athletic Bilbao at the Bernabeu in September 2005, but the debut ended both early and disastrously, as he first scored an own goal before being sent off shortly after the hour mark for picking up a second yellow card.

The writing was on the wall for Woodgate after that, as he made only 14 Real appearances in total before being shipped back to England with Middlesbrough, initially on loan, in August 2006.

Ali Dia

A story that has gone down in Premier League folklore, when Southampton boss Graeme Souness signed Ali Dia in November 1996, he thought he was bringing in a former Paris Saint-Germain star who was the cousin of Ballon d'Or winner George Weah.

Instead Souness signed a non-league player who, days earlier, had come on as a late substitute in the Northern Premier League for Blyth Spartans.

Southampton were dealing with an injury crisis at the time, so Dia was included on the bench for their Premier League clash with Leeds, coming on as a substitute for the injured Matt Le Tissier in the first half only to be replaced himself with five minutes remaining.

Le Tissier described Dia's performance as being "like Bambi on ice" and he was unsurprisingly not seen in a Southampton shirt again, as he dropped back into the world of non-league with Gateshead and Spennymoor United.

Henrik Larsson

Swedish star Henrik Larsson would go on to become one of Celtic's all-time greatest players, scoring 242 goals for the club between 1997-2004 before also starring for both Barcelona and Manchester United.

However, things did not start smoothly for Larsson at Parkhead, as on his debut against Hibernian he presented the ball to opposition player Chic Charnley, who scored the winning goal.

Larsson then put the ball through his own net on his European debut for Celtic against Tirol Innsbruck and, at that point, supporters must have been wondering who they'd signed, but luckily for them and their centre-forward, it all worked out in the end.

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Chris Iwelumo

It is not just club debuts that can end disastrously, as former Burnley and Wolves striker Chris Iwelumo discovered on his international bow for Scotland in a World Cup qualifier against Norway in 2008.

Iwelumo, who at the time was firing in the goals for Wolves in the Championship, came on as a substitute at Hampden Park, but promptly missed an open goal from just three yards out in a match that finished 0-0.

The now 44-year-old went on to win three further caps for his country, but he never managed to score an international goal.

Lionel Messi

Even the greatest of players can have debuts to forget, as seven-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi discovered during his first senior international appearance for Argentina in 2005.

Messi was introduced as a substitute in the 63rd minute of La Albiceleste's friendly clash with Hungary, but he was sent off just two minutes later after fouling Vilmos Vanczak - an incident that reportedly left Messi in tears.

However, the 35-year-old has gone on to have the last laugh, winning everything there is to win in the game, including helping Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar just a month ago.

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