The referee was ideally positioned to make the correct decision on Isaac Hayden’s dismissal. In addition to that, Craig Pawson was firm and handled the situation really well.
Those sort of challenges can spark mass confrontations. This one did not because Pawson was right on top of the situation. The way he reacted and dealt with the situation was textbook.
Hayden may have protested his innocence but his challenge endangered the safety of an opponent, used excessive force and there was a degree of brutality. Trying to excuse it by saying he played the ball first belongs to the 1960s or 1970s. It was serious foul play and these days the referee has no option but to show a red card.