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The Black Cats attacker was given his marching orders for a late challenge on Aston Villa winger Yacouba Sylla and will now miss the club's run-in as they battle against relegation

Sunderland forward Stephane Sessegnon will miss the final three games of the Premier League season after the club's appeal against his red card was rejected by the Independent Regulatory Commission.

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The Benin international, who had scored in consecutive games under new boss Paolo Di Canio, was shown a straight red by referee Lee Probert in the Black Cats' bottom-of-the-table clash against Aston Villa.

Sessegnon was adjudged to have gone in recklessly and late on Villa winger Yacouba Sylla, but Sunderland's Italian boss was adamant there was no malice in the challenge.

“There was not a straight leg...it is not a bad challenge,” he told reporters after the match.

“We saw the clip straight away in the dressing room. There was no intention to damage the opponent, so we are going to appeal.”

That appeal has been rejected, however, and Sunderland will now miss Sessegnon for three games, thus ruling him out for the rest of the season.

The decision will be a massive blow for the Black Cats, who have yet to escape the relegation battle, and will have to face Stoke, Southampton and Tottenham without their attacking midfielder.

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