The Sunderland striker Stéphane Sessègnon will miss the rest of the season after his appeal against a three-match ban for his sending off against Aston Villa on Monday was turned down by a Football Association panel.
Referee Lee Probert showed a straight red for Sessègnon's challenge on Yacouba Sylla as Sunder-land lost 6-1. He will miss their three remaining games against Stoke, Southamp-ton and Tottenham as Paolo Di Canio's team battle to survive.
The Benin forward's absence will come as a major blow. He opened the scoring in Sunderland's 3-0 derby win at Newcastle and then scored the winner against Everton to put them clear of the relegation zone.