Spurs boss says Sheffield United's star should have seen red

Ryan Mason, Tottenham Hotspur’s caretaker manager, condemned the decision not to send-off John Fleck for what he described as a “shocking” challenge on Giovani Lo Celso during the second half of his team’s 4-0 win over Sheffield United.

Sunday, 2nd May 2021, 10:17 pm
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 02: Gareth Bale of Tottenham Hotspur tackles John Fleck of Sheffield United during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Sheffield United at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on May 02, 2021 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Fleck caught the Argentine midfielder on the side of his head following a challenge just inside the Spurs half but remained on the pitch when a VAR review decided it was accidental.

Despite protesting his innocence to referee Andre Marriner, Fleck breathed a sigh of relief when Peter Bankes decided no further action was necessary after reviewing footage of the incident at Stockley Park.

But Mason said: “I thought it was a red, yes. It should have been a straight red for me, especially when you look at some of the things people have been sent off for recently.

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“I was really surprised by what happened, and the fact he stayed on. Especially when you think the referee (Bankes) has had a chance to take a look at things from his video suite. But he did, and I’ve got to say I was really surprised.”

Gareth Bale scored a hat-trick before Son Heung-Min’s effort rounded off a miserable evening for United in north London.

Paul Heckingbottom, who has been placed in interim charge of the visitors until the end of the campaign, said: “I’ve heard people saying Flecky might have got away with one. I’ve not seen a replay but, for me, there’s no hiding place on a pitch now because there are cameras everywhere.

“So I trust that, after taking a look, the referees have both done their jobs.”