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West Ham, Barnsley red cards contest for stupider sending off

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There must be something in the air over England this Saturday morning, because a pair of players have put their teams in disadvantageous positions thanks to nothing other than sheer stupidity.

First, in FA Cup action, Premier League side West Ham was already trailing League One leaders Wigan 1-0 at DW Stadium when Arthur Masuaku lost his head. Nick Powell and Masuaku come together, but there was hardly anything in it until the 24-year-old left-back decided to spit on the Wigan midfielder.

It was a completely mindless act, and one well spotted by the officials, who immediately produced a red card, sending Masuaku off and leaving the Premier League side with an even bigger mountain to climb in order to avoid the upset.

Wigan would eventually go 2-0 up on a penalty given for a handball on Reece Burke, a poor call but also deserved by Wigan who bossed the match after going a man up.

Elsewhere, in Championship play, promotion hopefuls Fulham were down 1-0 on the road at struggling Barnsley after an incredibly poor first half. Just before the break, Barnsley right-back Dimitri Cavare was fouled by Stefan Johansen. The referee tried to play advantage, but with Cavare’s eventual pass dragging wayward, he blew his whistle and pulled back the foul. Johansen got up and had some words with another Barnsley player, and Cavare came up from behind him and shoved Johansen hard in the back, straight into the other player, and more importantly, directly in front of the referee.

Fulham had been awful the entire first half, and after going a man up, they came out of the intermission energized and grabbed the equalizer just four minutes after the break through young Ryan Sessegnon.

What’s gotten into these players? Nothing makes a manager seethe more than a player doing something needless to put the team at a serious disadvantage the rest of the match. Which act was dumber?