West Bromwich Albion defender Semi Ajayi has received his first Premier League red card after blocking a possible goal with his hand against Burnley.
Ajayi was judged by the VAR to have blocked Matej Vydra’s potential goalscoring opportunity in the 34th minute by the use of his hand.
Initially, referee Mike Dean waved play on but a protest from the Burnley players forced the English official to visit the video review by the pitchside which subsequently found the 27-year-old guilty of a foul.
Sam Allardyce’s side is now reduced to 10 men at Turf Moor and they face an uphill challenge as they aim to extend their six-game winless Premier League streak since their 3-2 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers on January 16.
Saturday’s red card was the second time Ajayi has been sent off in his professional career – the first was in an FA Cup game against West Ham United in January 2020 when he received two yellow cards.
The 27-year-old has been a key fixture in West Brom’s defence in this campaign with 24 league appearances and he has two goals to his name as well.
West Bromwich Albion, however, can count on Senegal’s Mbaye Diagne to steer them to victory after he broke his league duck against Manchester United last Sunday.
They have won just two matches in 24 league outings which leaves them 18th in the table with 13 points.
Ajayi is now expected to serve a two-game suspension for the straight red card and he will miss the Baggies trip to Brighton & Hove Albion next Saturday and their visit to Goodison Park to face Everton on March 4.