Cape Town - Manager Remi Garde lamented referee Jonathan Moss's decision not to award Aston Villa an early penalty against West Ham United after his team slumped to their 15th Premier League defeat of the season away at Upton Park on Tuesday night.
Gabbi Agbonlahor's cross from the left struck Hammers' midfielder Michail Antonio on the arm in the 11th minute, but Moss waved play on in what Garde said was a key moment in the game for his side.
Villa went down to 10 men after Ayew was shown a straight red card six minutes later for an elbow on Aaron Cresswell.
They were unable to cope with the loss, crashing to a 2-0 defeat that set them six points adrift at the bottom of the league.
"I would like to mention the first big point in the game before the red card. This is a clear penalty we should have been awarded," Garde told the club's website (www.avfc.co.uk).
"It was a clear handball and it was before the red card. This is, for me, the key point of this game."
The manager also said he regretted the rush of blood that had led to Ayew's sending off.
"Jordan has no excuse to do that. I know that and he knows that. He will be suspended now. It was a big blow for the team," Garde said.
"Whatever happens in the dressing room is private. But I'm not sure it was the only incident that turned the game. I think we should have had a penalty."