Counting down the eight worst horror tackles from the Premier League season - James, Xhaka, Pogba...

Leeds and Everton have hit the headlines in recent weeks after a rash of red-card challenges but can either of the two strugglers lay claim to the season's most horrific tackle?

Solomon Rondon's dismissal on Sunday was the 21st straight red card shown in the Premier League this season and the fourth for Everton.

It put the Toffees one ahead of Leeds who have hit the headlines in recent weeks thanks to reckless challenges from Dan James and Luke Ayling which both resulted in early baths.

Dirty Leeds and Lampard's Louts may be out in front when it comes to straight reds but are do they lead the way in horror tackles? Planet Sport counts down the eight worst from 2021/22 to find out.

8. Granit Xhaka vs Man City (Aug 28)

It wouldn't be a red card piece without Granit Xhaka being a part of it. The Arsenal man has seen red in the Premier League on four occasions and has also picked up 50 bookings since his move from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2016.

Already 2-0 down to Manchester City in the third week of the season, Xhaka jumped in on Joao Cancelo with both studs showing. He made minimal (if any) contact with Cancelo and plenty on the ball but with Martin Atkinson deeming him to be out of control, the red card was duly issued.

Xhaka later described the decision as "brutally surprising". Not to us Granit, no to us.

7. Mason Holgate vs Tottenham (November 7)

Mason Holgate challenge red card Everon 2021

Defender Mason Holgate is one of six Everton players to have been sent off in the Premier League this season, seeing red in added time of the 0-0 stalemate in November.

But is it even a tackle?

With the ball loose on the edge of the Everton box, Holgate made sure he was first to the scene, belting the ball beyond the halfway line and going on to catch Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in his follow through.

He was initially awarded a yellow card but with both his feet off the ground and making contact with the back of the Dane's legs, it was upgraded to a red via VAR.

6. Ben Gibson vs Chelsea (October 23)

Another red card against Chelsea but one that was the result of a second yellow rather than a straight red - not that it didn't deserve one.

Booked just ten minutes earlier, Norwich centre-back Ben Gibson's challenge on Reece James wasn't a last-ditch attempt to thwart an equaliser or understandable rush of blood in the heat of a delicately poised battle. No, it was a reckless slide tackle in the centre of the pitch with his side already 5-0 down.

James was taken off his feet although Gibson probably did more damage to the top of the tunnel with his departing punch.

5. James Ward-Prowse vs Chelsea (October 2)

Southampton's standout player this season, Ward-Prowse had only seen red once in his career before being given his marching orders in the 3-1 loss at Stamford Bridge.

Earlier in the match, the set-piece specialist had cancelled out Trevoh Chalobah's opener by converting from the penalty spot.

However, 15 minutes after equalising, he put pressure on Jorginho deep inside Chelsea's half and caught the Chelsea midfielder on the ankle after he had cleared the ball.

The off-balance Jorginho went down in a heap and after initially being deemed worthy of a yellow, the lunge was upgraded to a red following a VAR review.

It proved pivotal as Chelsea went on to score two late goals through Timo Werner and Ben Chilwell.

4. Paul Pogba vs Liverpool (October 24)

A selfless act by the Frenchman, this one.

With Man Utd already 5-0 down at home to Liverpool, substitute Pogba took matters into his own hands in the 60th minute by flying into a challenge with Naby Keita on the edge of the Liverpool box.

Another one that was initially deemed a yellow, Anthony Taylor was summoned to watch a replay. With both Pogba's legs off the ground, it was deemed reckless and the France international was on his way.

Galvanised, United went on to keep a clean sheet for the rest of the game.

As I said, a selfless act.

3. Andy Robertson vs Tottenham (December 19)

One of the games of the season, it wouldn't have been complete without a red card.

And Robertson, who had already provided a goal and an assist was the man to provide it.

Dispossessed by Emerson Royal near the touchline, the Liverpool left-back then petulantly kicked right through the Brazilian.

Again a yellow came out before the evidence was re-examined. With the ball incidental to the challenge, Robertson's yellow was upgraded to a red.

Fair play to him, though, he still manages to look shocked.

2. Luke Ayling vs Arsenal (May 8)

When you're in a relegation battle the situation calls for calm heads.

Sadly, no one told Leeds' Luke Ayling, who with Arsenal's Gabriel Martinelli going nowhere on the touchline at the Emirates (was the ball even still in play) flew in both studs showing to well and truly wipe him out.

It probably wouldn't have even been allowed in Billy Bremner's day.

A straight red all day long (obviously, the referee initially awarded a yellow).

1. Dan James vs Chelsea (May 11)

When you're in a relegation battle the situation calls for calm heads…

Leeds winger Dan James saw red for the first time in his career in the 3-0 home loss to Chelsea and it was a real head-loss moment.

That he somehow miraculously managed to make a little bit of contact with the ball on the way to his horror tackle on Mateo Kovacic was definitely more by luck than judgement.

The Wales international ended up planting one foot onto his opponent's ankle and another just below his knee. Kovacic was forced off and lucky not to have his leg broken in the incident.

"He was just trying to be aggressive to win the ball," was the home explanation.

Dirty Leeds, indeed.

READ MORE: Man Utd top Premier League table of final-game results, while Leeds can take comfort from their spot

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