Watford have lost their appeal against the red card handed to Troy Deeney during the club's 1-0 home defeat to Arsenal in the Premier League.
Deeney caught Lucas Torreira with what was deemed a deliberate elbow in the 11th minute of the match to reduce his side to ten men, despite strongly protesting his innocence to the officials.
Nevertheless, the striker was shown a straight red card by referee Craig Pawson after the linesman alerted him to the incident - Watford then opted to appeal the decision, but in doing so ran the risk of increasing the striker’s three-game ban.
Watford manager Javi Gracia has now revealed the Hornets have lost their appeal, meaning Deeney will miss the next Premier League trip to face Huddersfield on Saturday, as well as the following home games against Southampton and Wolves, but will not have his ban increased.
Arsenal had taken the lead in the match thanks to an opportunists goal from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who pounced on Ben Foster's attempted clearance to divert the former Manchester United goalkeeper's kick into the net after ten minutes.
Deeney was sent for an early shower shortly after as Unai Emery's men held on the record a narrow 1-0 win that saw them move back into the Premier League top four. For Watford, they will still retain hopes of a seventh place finish in the league, currently sitting level point behind Leicester, who occupy seventh, with a game in hand on Brendan Rodgers' side.
Anyone else still wondering how we didn't win that? 🙃— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) April 16, 2019
Javi has nothing but praise for the lads 👏
Regardless of their league finish, Gracia's men could claim a European place next season should they overcome Manchester City in the FA Cup final next month, after seeing off Wolves in the semi finals.