Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia put his club in a precarious situation late in their 3-2 come-from-behind victory over Hull City on Thursday, kicking the ball away out of frustration to earn his second yellow card of the match, per Premier League on Twitter:
RED CARD Antonio Valencia picks up a second yellow card for kicking the ball away. Man Utd are down to 10 men - it's Hull 2-3 Man Utd— Premier League (@premierleague) December 26, 2013
The red card means that Valencia will miss United's Week 19 showdown against Norwich City at Carrow Road.
The soonest he could return to the lineup would be on New Year's Day when United play host to Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford.
The 28-year-old Ecuadorian was sent off in the 90th minute with the Red Devils defending a one-goal lead over Hull in their Boxing Day opener.
Thankfully for Valencia, David Moyes' undermanned squad, led by Man of the Match Wayne Rooney, would hold on to earn three points, per Premier League on Twitter:
Man Utd's @WayneRooney: "It was a real scrap... We had to show our fighting spirit. We've done that and this was a massive result for us."— Premier League (@premierleague) December 26, 2013
However, Valencia's silly mistake nearly cost his side a result they had to have, per Bleacher Report's Allan Jiang:
Want an example of low football IQ? Antonio Valencia, already on a Y/C, kicks the ball away to be sent off. #HULMUN— Allan Jiang (@allanjianga) December 26, 2013
Valencia picked up his first yellow card in the 61st minute after a bad foul.
Valencia's absence is sure to be felt this weekend when United travel to Carrow Road to take on the Canaries. After all, he's appeared in 16 Premier League matches for United this season and has made a dozen starts thus far.
How will United fare vs. Norwich City without Valencia?
He's only scored one goal and assisted on two others over that time. However, injuries to some star players and Valencia's experience in the starting XI makes him a key piece.
Fortunately, United will have him back for their crucial clash with Spurs on New Year's Day.
While Norwich City have shown glimpses of brilliance at times this season, Valencia won't be missed nearly as much against Chris Hughton's struggling squad.
The return of Michael Carrick in midfield also helps lessen the impact of Valencia's red card.
Aside from a pair of foolish challenges and the untimely lack of composure, Valencia was solid against the Tigers.
He struggled in the air, but touched the ball plenty and helped United apply some pressure after falling behind 2-0 early in the match. Valencia connected on 83 percent of his pass attempts vs. Hull, per WhoScored.com.
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