HULL CITY 1 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2
AGGRIEVED Hull manager Steve Bruce accused Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen of getting Gaston Ramirez sent off after Spurs came from behind to continue their strong away form.
Former White Hart Lane midfielder Jake Livermore put the hosts in front but Ramirez’s red card precipitated their collapse, as Harry Kane equalised and then Christian Eriksen stroked a last-minute winner. Bruce felt Vertonghen exaggerated contact when on-loan midfielder Ramirez appeared to kick out at the Belgian after the pair had collided just five minutes into the second half.
“It was petulant by Ramirez but it’s not really violent conduct,” said the Tigers boss. “Vertonghen – one of the so-called great players – goes down like he’s been pole-axed. I’d be disappointed if I was a centre-half going down for something like that. That’s the disappointment, because it is game-changing, and you just wonder, maybe the referee or linesman could have a bit more experience and common sense.”
Hull have won just twice in 12 Premier League outings this season and now lie 16th, just one point off the relegation zone.
Tottenham, meanwhile, climbed back into the top half of the table following a second consecutive league away win. They have 11 points from 18 on their travels, compared to just six from 18 at home.
Pochettino played down the significance of the sending off and insisted Tottenham had improved on an unassertive first-half display before the controversial dismissal.
“I wasn’t happy with what was happening on the pitch but in the second half I was very happy,” he said. “The most important thing was three points and getting confidence. We need victories like today to improve our game.”
Livermore swept a low 20-yard shot past former team-mate Hugo Lloris after nine minutes as Hull’s energetic start disrupted Spurs.
The tide turned with the red card, however, and Spurs’ bombardment was rewarded in the 61st minute when Eriksen’s free-kick fell kindly for Kane’s 10th of the season.
Eriksen conjured the decisive goal with injury time looming when he made space on the edge of the area to locate the bottom-left corner.