Tottenham defender Younes Kaboul was shown a straight red just 25 minutes into the club's clash with West Ham. His absence had an immediate impact on Spurs and their bid to secure a Europa League berth as the Irons scored two minutes later.
The Premier League passed along word of the red card:
RED CARD Spurs defender Younes Kaboul is sent off for bringing down Stewart Downing just outside the box (25 mins) #WHUTOT— Premier League (@premierleague) May 3, 2014
Opta Joe noted getting sent off is nothing new for the defender:
4 - Younes Kaboul has now been sent off for Tottenham Hotspur more often than any other player in Premier League history. Bath.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 3, 2014
Stewart Downing was set to break through on goal before he was taken down by Kaboul. Although it's difficult to hand out a red so early in the match, especially on a foul outside the box, the right decision was probably made. It did deny a goal-scoring opportunity.
A short time later a West Ham corner kick found the head of Andy Carroll and was redirected into the net on a failed attempt to flick it over goal by Harry Kane. Downing made it 2-0 before halftime.
Will Tottenham earn a Europa League berth?
The 20-year-old forward has been in fine form for Tottenham, but this won't rank as one of his most memorable matches. After the own goal, he was subbed out as Spurs entered Vlad Chiriches to reinforce the back line.
Kaboul has run hot and cold in 12 Premier League appearances for the club this season. While the veteran center back has provided stability at times, there have been moments of mental error, with today's red card being the latest.
It also means Kaboul will be unavailable for the club's final match of the campaign next week against Aston Villa, barring a successful appeal of the red card. So Tim Sherwood will have to shake up his defense once again.
With Manchester United in pursuit, there's still a chance Tottenham end up missing European competition next season. Though Kaboul's form has varied, any loss is notable for a back line that's been average at best throughout the season.