Bart Verbruggen has revealed he was hoping for a red card against Chelsea.

The Albion goalkeeper made his surprising claim after being shown yellow for a foul just outside the box in Albion’s 2-1 defeat.

Verbruggen slid into a tackle on Nicolas Jackson away to the right of goal and the Chelsea man went down.

Referee Michael Salisbury showed the yellow card with defenders rushing back and Jackson heading away from goal.

Verbruggen then saved the resulting free-kick, taken by Reece James, so no harm was done.

However, Verbruggen had pleaded his innocence and said later that a red card would have helped prove him right.

He said: “To be fair, I hesitated a little bit to come out and then I did come and I think it was the right decision in the first place to go.

“And then I made a tackle but I didn’t touch him at all.

“I was hoping that the ref would give me a red card because then with VAR he could see that I didn’t touch him, and we would get the ball.

“But he gave me a yellow because the ball went to the sideline.

“When he sees it’s not a foul, we get the ball.

“The free-kick ended up in my hands so it was all good.”

The counter argument is that Jackson might have gone down not as a dive but in trying to avoid Verbruggen’s leg.

There is also a possibility video assistant Peter Bankes might have read it that way and backed a red card decision.

In reality, while Verbruggen may have liked to be proven correct, it was probably for the best to have a yellow and a harmless free-kick to follow.

The one admission where it was easy to agree with Verbruggen was in his misjudgement in coming for the ball.

He had looked favourite to get there but ended up having to take pretty desperate action, whether it was a foul or not.

He said: “I should have gone the first time.”

Verbruggen made a decent stop in the first half when he tipped over a well-struck Malo Gusto shot which appeared to be dipping.

Closer inspection revealed that trajectory was down to a touch off Igor.

Verbruggen said: “The deflection made it harder but it also shows how eager everybody is to stop the ball going in.

“Everyone throws their body in front of the ball and the defenders and also the midfielders have made so many blocks this season.

“Sometimes you get unlucky and you get a deflection and then I’m still there to try to keep the ball out of the net.

“I’m happy I could do that today.”