Hull vs Tottenham: Steve Bruce questions Jan Vertonghen's intentions after clash with Gaston Ramirez leads to Hull midfielder's red card

Spurs defender is accused of going down as if he has been 'pole-axed' and describes Ramirez's red card as 'petulant'

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The Independent Online

Steve Bruce railed against a lack of common sense after 10-man Hull suffered a last-minute defeat by Tottenham but it was the officials, rather than the reckless Gaston Ramirez, who felt his frustration.

The Tigers were 1-0 ahead when Ramirez marked his first start for the club by unnecessarily kicking out at Jan Vertonghen and earning a red card.

Tottenham took all of the 40 minutes left in the game to seal a 2-1 victory, Harry Kane levelling just after the hour mark and Christian Eriksen grabbing a last-gasp winner.

Prior to the dismissal, Mauricio Pochettino's injury-hit Spurs had looked ripe for the taking and one of their former players, Jake Livermore, had taken advantage with an eighth-minute strike.

 

Yet Bruce opted not to lay into Ramirez, deeming him only guilty of "petulance" and bemoaning the strict verdict taken by referee Craig Pawson and assistant Peter Kirkup.

"The linesman should have a bit more about him. Why not?" said Bruce, whose faltering side lie just a point clear of the drop zone.

"I know it's petulant but can't the linesman, with a bit of experience, just say 'listen, he's had a little tap at him, it's a yellow card'.

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"The big referees, the good ones, the really top ones, have always got a common sense about them, even in my day.

"They realise these things happen. The reason why the spectacle of the Barclays Premier League is loved all round the world is the honesty of it, the integrity of it and the ferocity of it.

"People enjoy watching the physical specimen of the Premier League."

Steve-Bruce.jpgVertonghen had appeared largely blameless in the confrontation, only reaching out to block Ramirez's trailing boot following the latter's tussle with Mousa Dembele.

But the Belgian defender did not escape Bruce's attention.

"We talk about diving and allegedly cheating...Vertonghen's a big strapping 6ft 2in or 6ft 3in centre-back and he's rolling around as if he's been pole-axed and that can't be healthy for the Premier League," said the Tigers boss.

"Vertonghen has a little go at him which is there for everyone to see, provokes him, and he flicks out at him.

"The letter of the law says it's got to be violent conduct. But he has tapped him on the backside.

"If that really, really takes him to the ground I can't really understand that."

Pochettino, whose side were flattered in victory and might easily have been three behind at the interval, denied the sending-off had determined the result.

"I think it did not have a big impact," said the Tottenham boss.

"In the second half our attacking game was better than Hull's. I'm sure in the end it would have been the same result.

"Hull played very well in the first half but we tried to change something at half-time and I'm happy because after we showed character and good mentality.

"In the second half we created a lot of chances."

PA

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