Manchester United defender Tyler Blackett was sent off in last night's U21 clash against Sunderland after striking an opponent in the face in the build-up to a free-kick on the edge of the box.
The 20-year-old received his marching orders just eight minutes into the second half following a brief altercation with Martin Smith, which ended with Blackett raising his hands to aggressively push the Black Cats midfielder away.
Words were obviously exchanged between the pair, but that's still no excuse for the Red Devils youngster's conduct. He was deservedly red carded and will now serve a three-match ban for development squad games. It will not affect his prospective participation in the first-team.
Blackett's dismissal left Warren Joyce's side with an uphill task at the Stadium of Light, but they managed to hold out for a 1-1 draw to retain their place at the top of the U21 table thanks to Andreas Pereira's early strike, which was later cancelled out by Mikael Mandron before the interval.
Joyce would've been happy with a share of the spoils, particularly after losing star striker James Wilson to injury soon after the break, and then Blackett's moment of madness that heaped further pressure on his young Manchester United team for the rest of the game.
Louis van Gaal is unlikely to look fondly upon the England U21 international's behaviour, and having already fallen out of favour in recent months Red Devils fans might have now seen the last of the academy graduate in the senior fold this term.
Blackett was a surprise inclusion in Van Gaal's Manchester United team at the start of 2014/15 after impressing the Dutch coach on the club's pre-season tour of the United States, but following the return of several more established stars from injury he has been forced to settle for a watching brief from the bench.
Rush of blood to the head
Last night's runout for the U21s on Wearside would've been with the sole intention of keeping the player's match fitness ticking over, but thanks to his stupidity Blackett's now denied himself the opportunity to get another 90 minutes under his belt.
According to BBC Sport in January, Blackett is still yet to sign an extension to his current contract at Old Trafford, which is set to expire at the end of the season. Fellow graduate Paddy McNair was rewarded with a new deal last month, which suggests that he might not have a future at the club under Van Gaal.
Manchester United fans: Do you think Tyler Blackett has a future at Old Trafford? Or can you see him leaving the Theatre of Dreams in the summer? Share your thoughts below...
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