The Yorkshire giants slipped into the relegation zone following a 2-1 defeat at the Emirates, which was made worse by the dismissal of their captain.
What happened against Arsenal?
Despite Leeds coming close to rescuing a late point in the capital, it was nothing short of a disastrous afternoon for Jesse Marsch.
It started off badly when Illian Meslier gifted ex-Leeds striker Eddie Nketiah an early opener, and it didn’t get any better from then on in.
It took just five minutes for Nketiah to double Arsenal’s lead with his third goal against his former side this season, which left Marsch’s men with a mountain to climb to avoid a second defeat in a row.
But just before the half hour mark, Leeds’ afternoon went from bad to worse as Ayling was sent off for a two-footed tackle on Gabriel Martinelli, which was overturned by VAR after Chris Kavanagh had initially given him a yellow card.
As a result, Ayling will now serve a three-match ban, meaning he’ll miss Leeds’ three remaining games against Chelsea, Brighton, and Brentford.
Diego Llorente reduced the deficit late on, but the Elland Road side weren’t able to grab a second.
What did Bridge say about Ayling?
He told GIVEMESPORT: “Leeds were dreadful on Sunday and it was baffling from their captain to make a challenge like that, because with 11 men, you never know, they could have made a comeback in the second half.”
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Who could replace Ayling against Chelsea?
While Leeds’ injury problems have improved in recent months, right-back is still a problematic position for Marsch.
Not only is Ayling now absent for the rest of the season, but the versatile Stuart Dallas suffered a broken leg against Manchester City and is facing a long spell on the treatment table.
Therefore, Jamie Shackleton, who hasn’t started a game since December, could be handed a rare chance at such a crucial stage of the season.
Shackleton is predominantly a centre midfielder, but he covered at full-back on a number of occasions when Ayling was sidelined through injury earlier in the campaign and could get the nod once again here.