Brighton’s misfortune will be Arsenal’s gain when the two teams meet at the Amex Stadium on Boxing Day.
The south coast club, who are without a win from their past three games, will be missing one of their key players for the Premier League clash – captain Lewis Dunk.
The 27-year-old defender was dismissed for picking up two yellow cards in his side’s 2-0 defeat to Bournemouth at the weekend.
However, the first caution was incorrectly given. Mike Dean thought Dunk had fouled David Brooks but he hadn’t – his team-mate Yves Bissouma had, who escaped the yellow card.
Because the caution had already been awarded Dean was left with no choice but to send Dunk off when he slid in on Junior Stanislas.
When players are dismissed for mistaken identity clubs are within their rights to appeal the decision…but only when it’s a straight red.
Because Dunk’s ‘foul’ was a yellow card, Brighton cannot lodge a wrongful dismissal complaint.
The law states: “A claim of wrongful dismissal may be lodged only for on-field offences which result in a sending off, except for two cautions leading to a dismissal.”
The bizarre ruling means Brighton will be without their star man, handing Arsenal a welcome boost for the Boxing Day clash.
Following back-to-back defeats the Gunners got back to winning ways against Burnley at the weekend.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a brace to take his Premier League tally 12 and he will no doubt be looking to increase that number against Brighton.