Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor has had his red card overturned by the FA following his dismissal in the 1-1 draw against Manchester United at Villa Park on Saturday.
Referee Lee Mason issued Agbonlahor with a straight dismissal following a 50-50 challenge with United’s Ashley Young, a decision that puzzled and angered the Villa players and manager Paul Lambert.
As a result, the club have been charged with ‘failing to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion’ following their reaction to the decision. They have until 6pm on December 30 to lodge a response.
In a squad that is already threadbare due to an ongoing injury crisis at the club, the 28-year-old forward is now available for the trip to the Liberty Stadium for the Boxing Day clash against eighth placed Swansea City.
Villa manager Paul Lambert is delighted to have had the decision reversed, making the forward free of suspension. “It is great for us," he told reporters.
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"I said at the time I didn’t think it was a red card and everyone’s assumption was the same.”
“Ex-referees have come out and said it wasn’t. So your own common sense told you it wasn’t a red card. Gabby is playing really well at the minute so we hoped it would be rescinded.”
The Villa forward will have received a three match ban had the first red card of his career not been rescinded.
Agbonlahor is one of six different goal scorers for Villa in the league this season, having scored three goals this term, his last coming in the 1-1 draw at Villa Park against Southampton on November 24.
Villa remain the lowest scoring team in all four of England’s top divisions with a total of 11 league goals.