Remi Garde's men fell to a 2-0 defeat at West Ham United after Ayew was sent off for a first-half elbow.
The visitors had an early penalty shout turned down during a bright start but were forced to change their tactics after 17 minutes when Ayew inexplicably elbowed West Ham left-back Aaron Creswell in the face with little provocation and the ball nowhere near the pair.
Referee Jon Moss wasted no time in brandishing a red card as Villa manager Remi Garde, his face taut with anger, refused to even acknowledge the striker as he trudged off the pitch.
The Frenchman’s side managed to hold the hosts at bay for the rest of the first half but West Ham’s pressure eventually told just before the hour when Michail Antonio headed in man-of-the-match Mark Noble’s pinpoint cross.
The Hammers dominated the rest of the game and eventually sealed the result five minutes from time, with Cheikhou Kouyate slotting home after a swift counter-attack from a Villa corner.
The result leaves Villa 10 points from safety at the foot of the Premier League with only 14 games remaining, and after failing to bring in a single player during the January transfer window, fans were quick to express their anger towards owner Randy Lerner and the rest of the club hierarchy at the final whistle.
A banner reading “sack the board” was unfurled in the away end, accompanied by chants of the same message, while Garde appeared just as disillusioned as he refused to answer questions about his future during his post-match interviews.