Both Tottenham and Brighton had their head coaches sent off during a touchline spat at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday. Roberto De Zerbi and Cristian Stellini exchanged words before kick-off, as their argument continued during the game and forced the referee to send both bosses off amid a brawl in the technical areas as the Seagulls felt that several refereeing decisions had gone against them during the game.
Frustrations continued to boil over as Brighton had a second goal disallowed for handball and then were denied a penalty, but both head coaches were sent off for failing to control their touchlines as several members of each team's coaching staff got involved in the pair's spat and a brawl ensued on the side of the pitch.
Stellini protested his innocence with the referee, claiming that he was not involved in the dispute. However, he is in charge of his technical area and as a result, was also given his marching orders after goals from Son Heung-min and Lewis Dunk, though Harry Kane did give the hosts the lead with 10 minutes remaining.
Both Stellini and De Zerbi continued to have words down the tunnel as they made their way back to their respective dressing rooms. Spurs' fitness coach Stefano Bruno and others led the home team's protests according to reports, with the game at the time tied at 1-1.
The home supporters did not seem to take the actions of their interim head coach well, as they chanted "We want [Daniel] Levy out" and sang the name of former boss Mauricio Pochettino, who has been linked with a return to north London following Antonio Conte's dismissal.
The two head coaches had words prior to kick-off, as De Zerbi allegedly felt that Stellini's pre-match press conference words were not fair to the job that he has done since taking over from recently-sacked Chelsea boss Graham Potter on the south coast.
“They [Brighton] are well prepared when you start to press them, they find a way to overcome your pressure," Stellini said regarding Saturday's opposition before the game.
“They are well positioned, they plan a match in the right way, they have many solutions also and they adapt themselves when you change something because they came from a good job that Potter did with them.
“I think De Zerbi found a good solution to play with his style because that team came with Potter and they know themselves very well.”