Gareth Barry believes the dismissal of Ashley Young in Aston Villa's 2-1 victory at Sunderland was the reason behind their late fightback.
The England winger was shown a straight red card midway through the second half at the Stadium of Light for a two-footed lunge.
The scores were level at 1-1 at that point before a Villa fightback was capped by an 80th-minute winning penalty from Barry.
"It was an exceptional victory. We knew it was going to be a really difficult game - and it became even harder after the dismissal," he told AVTV.
"But there was an extra determination to win the game and see it through when Ashley was sent off.
"We had just managed to get on top and we were certainly looking to win it. It did set us back a bit.
"But we felt that eventually it might open the game out and force them to come on to us. That can suit us on the counter-attack.
"Gabby (Agbonlahor) did brilliantly to get on the end of a long, hopeful ball and did really well to earn the penalty.
"I stepped up and I was delighted to see it hit the back of the net.
"The goalkeeper went the right way but luckily enough it was high - and they are always difficult to save when they are at that height."