Desperate to keep the pressure on Serie A table-toppers Napoli, Roma captain Daniele De Rossi cost his side dearly in Sunday's 1-1 draw away at Genoa.
The 34-year-old Italian midfielder - who recently retired from international football - gave away a penalty and was shown a straight red card in the 69th minute.
Roma, who had won their previous 12 away games in a run stretching back to February, had taken the lead through Stephan El Shaarawy just 10 minutes earlier.
A moment of incredible foolishness by De Rossi surely infuriated his teammates - it certainly left fans on Twitter feeling miffed.
Having dropped two valuable points, Roma now lie seven points behind Napoli and also trail Inter Milan and Juventus.
De Rossi's incredibly stupid red card
Defending a corner, De Rossi firstly pulled Gianluca Lapadula’s shirt before slapping the Genoa forward in the face.
The video assistant referee (VAR) was introduced into every Serie A match at the beginning of the season and the veteran Italian could not have been surprised when the referee made his final decision.
It's one thing slapping an opponent in your own penalty box - it's a whole new level of stupid when you know that VAR can be called upon.
The most embarrassing part was probably De Rossi feigning injury after Lapadula went down clutching his face.
“There isn’t much to say," De Rossi told reporters when asked about the incident after the game. "I tried to block Lapadula. The pictures aren’t very good.
“I ask everyone for forgiveness, I am very sorry. We go again.”
Fans on Twitter were up in arms over De Rossi's bizarre piece of defending.
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