Phil Jagielka was sent off against Aston Villa following an intervention by VAR at Bramall Lane in a move described as ‘shameful’.
Sheffield United were able to hold onto the 1-0 win, just their fourth win of the season, thanks to a goal from David McGoldrick despite a barrage of pressure from the visitors.
But it was the incident involving the Blades defender that was the big talking point of the game.
The Sheffield United man was initially given a yellow card for his challenge on Anwar El Ghazi at the start of the second half of the Premier League game.
VAR told referee Robert Jones to go take a look at the field monitor to see if Jagielka had turned down a scoring opportunity.
Jones decided he had done it and turned his decision into a red card. Jagielka became the second oldest player to receive a Premier League red card (38y 198d) behind only Stuart Pearce (38y 341 days).
Discussing the decision, talkSPORT host Hugh Woozencroft said, “Absolutely shameful decision. There’s no way Jagielka is the last man there.
“There is another defender who is deeper than him. He’s on the other side of the pitch, but you can’t say it’s the denial of a scoring opportunity. A defender has plenty of time to come back. “
Former Premier League striker Dean Ashton said: “The angle too, he’s about to get out of the way. The touch he takes is not a touch that will take him into the box for a shooting opportunity.
“If he has to shoot 20 yards before there’s a defender out there to take on a challenge, it’s a red card.
“But that’s not what it is. A goal opportunity is a real 1v1 goal opportunity with a goalie, but it wasn’t.
McGoldrick’s goal gave Sheffield United a silver lining to fight for survival with 11 games to go.
They have narrowed the gap to 12 points for safety, but can see that time is running out.