Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey has criticized the decision not to send off Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dejan Kulusevski during Lillywhite’s Premier League match against Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday afternoon.
Both sides, operating in London, will be looking to get three points of interest from the country’s capital.
However, despite entering the Lilywhites early in the game as clear favorites to finish in the top four in the league, powerful Italian coach Antonio Conte would have been pissed off with the way his side started.
In the first half of the match, although it ended without goals, the Seagulls team led by Graham Potter had better chances.
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However, one of the biggest talking points of the match was an incident between Kulusevski and Brighton defender Mark Cucurella.
Just shy of the first half, the ex-Juventus man was seen casting a nasty elbow backwards and in the direction of his defensive opponent.
Fortunately, contact was minimal but the Sweden international’s intent was clear for all to see. Surprisingly, referee Craig Pawson chose not to show a red card and instead issued the midfielder only a yellow card.
speaks exclusively to caught abroad About the shock decision, former referee Halsey said: “Kulusevsky is very, very lucky to still be on the field of play. It’s clearly a violent act. It’s not a reckless use of the arm, which would be a warning. He clenched his fists and threw his elbow back into Kokurila’s chest – right under his chin.”
“Cocurella did him a great service there by not holding back in this situation. I think a lot of guys would have gone down, so he definitely thanks him.”
“I don’t understand why the VAR didn’t get involved. They obviously feel that it’s subjective and that it’s not a ‘clear and obvious’ mistake by the referee on the pitch. But for me, I think he’s very lucky that he’s still on the field of play. Personally. I think it was a violent act.
“Put it this way – if Craig Pawson had shown a red card, it wouldn’t have been reviewed or overturned.”