Ex-Liverpool star, 33, sent off for second game running after needless handball as fans say 'he doesn't work Christmas' | The Sun

DANIEL AYALA got himself sent off for the second game running as fans joked he "doesn't work Christmas".

The former Liverpool defender, 33, joined Rotherham as a free agent in October.

In just his sixth game for his new club on December 9, he got yellow cards in the 12th and 17th minutes to be given his marching orders and Swansea ran out narrow 2-1 winners.

Ayala served his one-match suspension against West Brom in midweek but returned to the Millers side for Saturday's trip to Plymouth.

Incredibly, though, the Spanish centre-back again found himself heading in for an early bath.

Already on a cheap booking from the 25th minute and after being involved in a horror clash of heads, Ayala inexplicably tried to stop a long ball getting in behind the Rotherham defence by sticking up a stray arm and stopping it.



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The Plymouth players demanded a second yellow and the referee duly obliged.

It made Ayala the first EFL player to be sent off in successive games this season.

And following his red at Swansea in his previous appearance – making it two red cards in 55 minutes – he will now have to sit out for another ban.

Ayala will miss next game, a trip to Championship leaders Leicester on December 23.

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And SunSport have asked the EFL for clarification on whether his suspension will last for two matches – in which case Ayala cannot face his old side Middlesbrough at the New York Stadium on Boxing Day.

The red card proved critical as Plymouth came from behind and scored a 96th-minute winner to keep Rotherham bottom of the Championship table, nine points from safety.

Millers manager Leam Richardson said: "Experienced players are still learning but Daniel got caught under the ball and he lost balance but with an experienced player you’d expect a better decision.

"We will certainly look at that and speak to Daniel moving forward and go from there."


But fans piled in on the former Liverpool man, who made five appearances for the Reds in the 2009-10 season, and insisted this is not the first time he has managed to get Christmas off work.

In 2012-13, then playing for Nottingham Forest, Ayala again got two yellows in a 2-0 defeat at Watford on December 22.

Following his latest misdemeanour, one Twitter user said: "Got to love him. For those thinking to themselves, it'll be blatant to get Christmas off, it's more blatant than you can ever imagine haha."

A Boro supporter wrote: "You are definitely unfamiliar with Daniel Ayala. He doesn’t work Christmas."

Daniel Ayala – Matches Played in December

2009-10 – 0

2010-11 – 0

2011-12 – 1

2012-13 – 2 (red card on Dec 22)

2013-14 – 6

2014-15 – 4

2015-16 – 6

2016-17 – 0

2017-18 – 3

2018-19 – 5

2019-20 – 6

2020-21 – 6

2021-22 – 1

2022-23 – 3

2023-24 – 3 (red cards on Dec 9 and Dec 16)

A third added: "Up to his old antics again… winter off Ayala… same s*** every year, different club."

A fourth typed: "Done his best with two reds in two games."

A fifth joked: "Death. Taxes. Danny Ayala’s Christmas holiday."

A sixth quipped: "Must like his turkey."

A seventh wrote: "Daniel Ayala has more days off in the winter than an ice cream man, a chancer of the highest order. It's a shame really as he's a top player."

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An eighth commented: "Another Daniel Ayala red. 2 in 2 games now. Must be Christmas."

And a final user replied: "At this time of year everyone else receives Christmas cards, Daniel Ayala meanwhile…"

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