Luke Ayling will miss the rest of Leeds United’s Premier League campaign following a horror challenge against Arsenal.
The white defender looked frustrated after a disastrous start to the game that saw Jesse Marsch’s side go down 2-0 within 10 minutes at the Emirates Stadium.
As Arsenal pushed forward to add insult to injury, Gabriel Martinelli was racing towards the corner flag when the Leeds skipper launched in with an aggressive two-footed challenge.
Referee Chris Kavanagh initially made the decision to give Ayling a booking for the challenge, but with Arsenal players clearly furious at the foul, the decision was referred to VAR.
While some decisions this year have been difficult to come to terms with, a brief look at the VAR monitor allowed Kavanagh to upgrade Ayling’s booking to a direct red card.
The defender’s teammates at Leeds, Raphinha in particular, were furious at the Brazilian winger who was sent off for his protests.
However, after watching the replay, it’s clear that this was a reckless challenge from the experienced full-back.
For Leeds, such a dismissal is a blow.
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As well as subjecting his teammates to more than an hour of football against Mikel Arteta’s side with a penalty kill, it means they will now face a difficult task in their battle against relegation.
Ayling is set to receive a three-match ban for the challenge, meaning his Premier League season is effectively over.
As a result, Marsch will have to find a different solution to his side’s defensive problems as Yorkshire do all they can to secure the points that will keep them in the top flight for another season.
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