Middlesbrough launched their appeal to rescind centre-back Dani Ayala’s red card today, after the Spaniard picked up a four-match suspension in the game against Preston North End for ‘serious foul play’.

The appeal was heard today, with Middlesbrough successfully claiming it was a ‘wrongful dismissal’. The club announced the decision on their official website.

Although the centre-half returns to the fold, and is in contention to face Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon, Boro fans will feel aggrieved that the referee’s decision to show Ayala the red card changed the dynamic of the game.

With Middlesbrough leading 1-0 thanks to Ashley Fletcher’s third goal in four games, Ayala’s red meant Preston had the man advantage, and soon turned the one goal deficit into a one goal lead.

Paul Gallagher scored from the resultant free-kick to level to scores at 1-1, and Jayden Stockley scored the winner soon after. This meant Tony Pulis’ side suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time under the Welshman.

The FA issued the following statement after coming to the conclusion:

“Following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing today, Daniel Ayala will be available for Middlesbrough’s next three matches. 

“The defender was sent off for serious foul play during the game against Preston North End on Wednesday [13/03/2019] but a claim of wrongful dismissal was subsequently upheld.”

As reported on The 72 earlier this week, Pulis gave his take on the incident after the defeat.

“The decision, I have watched it now on four different angles” he said. “The referee is a long way away from the challenge and he has players in between him. It looks for me that he can’t see the challenge because two of their players and one of our players is in the way.

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Lifelong Boro fan - from the highs of watching Juninho and the Carling Cup victory, to the lows of Gordon Strachan and Lee Dong Gook

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