City striker Wilfried Bony burst towards goal in just the second minute of Saturday's clash at the Etihad Stadium, only for Craig Dawson to stop him in his tracks.
Swarbrick played advantage as the Ivorian attempted to revive the attack, but McAuley stepped in to win the ball – prompting the referee to call play back after playing advantage.
McAuley was then inexplicably shown a red card and sent form the field, despite protestations of West Brom's players.
It would seem to be the latest in a string of high-profile refereeing errors in England's top flight.
Roger East also recently appeared to have sent off the wrong player when showing Wes Brown a red card for a tackle made by John O'Shea at Manchester United – though the official later claimed to have spotted an infringement by Brown.
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