West Ham manager David Moyes labelled Arthur Masuaku “despicable” after the midfielder was sent off for spitting in a 2-0 FA Cup defeat by Wigan on Saturday.
Premier League West Ham, already 1-0 down to the first of two goals from Will Grigg, were reduced to 10 men four minutes into the second half when midfielder Masuaku saw red for spitting at third-tier Wigan’s Nick Powell.
“It was despicable,” said Moyes. “We like him, he’s a really good boy around the club..If you do that, then you’re going to get the punishment in any walk of life.
“I just asked him, did he spit and he said, ‘Yes’.”
Wigan have slumped down English football’s ladder since winning the FA Cup in 2013, but the League One leaders rekindled memories of that run to Wembley as they reached the last 16.
With West Ham without several injured first-choice players, an upset was always on the cards and it took Northern Ireland striker Grigg just seven minutes to score his fifth goal in as many Cup ties this season with a header beyond England goalkeeper Joe Hart.
Grigg, following Masuaku’s dismissal, made it 2-0 from the penalty spot in the 62nd minute after Reece Burke’s handball in the box.
“From start to finish we were the best side,” Grigg told the BBC. “We had lots of energy, played with a high tempo and thought our quality today was top draw.”
Elsewhere struggling Premier League sides Swansea and Huddersfield played out 1-1 draws with lower-division Notts County and Birmingham City respectively, leading to unwanted replays for teams whose priority is remaining in the top flight.
The Swans, bottom of the Premier League, took the lead when Luciano Narsingh scored just his second goal in 31 games for the Welsh club on the stroke of half-time.
But fourth-tier County equalised in the 62nd minute through Jon Stead.
It was a similar story when a much-changed Huddersfield side took an early lead against Birmingham through a Steve Mounie header.
Lukas Jutkiewicz, however, drew a Birmingham side battling to avoid relegation from the second-tier Championship level in the 54th minute.
Premier League Brighton were also on the verge of a replay until Glenn Murray’s 90th-minute goal secured a 1-0 win over Championship side Middlesbrough.