Manuel Pellegrini questioned the red card for Arthur Masuaku after West Ham’s 0-0 draw at Aston Villa on Monday night.
Masuaku, booked in the first half, received a second yellow card for a soft-looking foul on Villa substitute Ahmed Elmohamady.
Thereafter, Villa failed to really worry the Hammers, instead inviting pressure on themselves through individual errors and silly fouls inside their own final third.
Villa should have been dominating and probing for a winning goal but the game had become end to end and frenetic.
West Ham put Villa under pressure late on, with the hosts often leaving themselves two against two at the back, and in the end it was Smith’s side who survived.
After the game Pellegrini, who was celebrating his 66th birthday, said: “It’s a typical second yellow card when you play away.
“It is easy to try to simulate a foul and try to get the fans to put pressure on – they tried it with Mark Noble in the first half.
“We spoke about it at half-time, to try to avoid getting a second yellow card. But I don’t think in normal play for a home team that would be a yellow card.
“Overall, I was very happy with our performance. We came here from the first minute to try to win the game, but unfortunately we had to play part of the game with one player less.
“But the attitude was always to try to score right up until the final minute. We couldn’t do it, but if you can’t win then you must draw. We continue to progress.”
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