Valencia coach Ernesto Valverde acknowledged the second-half dismissal of Deportivo La Coruna defender Silvio had been the turning point in his side's thrilling 3-2 Primera Division win at the Riazor on Saturday night.
Ricardo Costa's stoppage-time header decided a topsy-turvy encounter in Los Che's favour as bottom team Depor surrendered a 2-1 half-time lead and finished the game with nine men.
The hosts' hopes of holding on for a valuable victory suffered a blow seven minutes after the restart when Silvio, having been booked for a first-half foul on Pablo Piatti, was sent off for a second bookable offence against the same player.
And Valverde felt that had been crucial.
"In the second half they received the red card and when we played against 10 men we had more clear chances than before," he said.
The match was all action from the outset, Jonas' looping header after just 31 seconds putting the visitors ahead before Riki's brace gave Depor an interval lead.
Silvio's needless dismissal seven minutes after the restart changed the course of the game, though, as Nelson Valdez equalised and then Costa bagged a dramatic late winner before Paulo Assuncao's red card rubbed further salt in the hosts' wounds.
"It was an amazing game, with a lot of tension," added Valverde, whose side climbed to fifth thanks to the win.
"We knew it would be complicated in the second half because Depor were ahead and were playing with plenty of spirit. We did not deserve to be trailing at half-time.
"Clearly there are things to improve, in attack and defence, but better to do that with the three points."