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Graham Potter blames Man Utd players over controversial Lewis Dunk red card

Graham Potter blames Man Utd players over the controversial red card of Lewis Dunk in Tuesday night’s Premier League fixture.

The Brighton boss said referee Peter Bankes and VAR Jarred Gillett should be stronger after being pressurised by Ralk Rangnick’s players.

Dunk was shown a yellow card by Bankes after he pulled Anthony Elanga back early in the second half at Old Trafford, after the winger had stolen possession and was through on goal.

With Elanga was clear of Dunk, Brighton had Adam Webster coming across on the cover and that convinced Bankes to only dish out a yellow initially.

But Man Utd players reacted furiously to the call, with Bruno Fernandes also getting booked for protesting. As the home players surrounded Bankes and delayed the taking of the free-kick, Gillett advised the official to check the monitor.

Bankes reversed his decision and sent Dunk off after reviewing the footage, much to the outrage of Potter who couldn’t understand why the VAR had got involved.

“It was a yellow card live, Webster was there on the cover. It is not clear and obvious. I don’t understand the intervention,” he said.

Asked about the pressure from United’s players on Bankes, Potter said: “Asking the question you are answering the question. I don’t blame them I am not being critical it is what it is.

“They have to do their bit for the team but you need the referee and VAR to make the calls independently.”

Brighton had much of the possession for the first half and only a brilliant save from David de Gea prevented them from taking the lead. Cristiano Ronaldo scored early in the second half, getting rid of his SIU celebration, before Dunk was dismissed shortly after.

The visitors then rode their luck and tried to get something out if the game late on when Moder struck the bar and Danny Welbeck headed over an excellent chance, only for Fernandes to score with the final action of the game.

Player ratings

Man Utd: De Gea (7), Dalot (6), Lindelof (6), Maguire (5), Shaw (5), McTominay (6), Fred (4), Fernandes (6), Sancho (7), Ronaldo (7), Elanga (7).

Subs: Pogba (6), Rashford (6), Telles (6).

Brighton: Sanchez (7), Veltman (6), Dunk (5), Webster (5), Cucurella (7), Gross (6), Bissouma (6), Moder (7), Mac Allister (6), Maupay (6), Trossard (6).

Subs: Lamptey (6), Alzate (6), Welbeck (5).

Man of the match: Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ralf Rangnick said post-match: “In the first 10 minutes of the second half we had more success moments and it raised the crowd, they were not moaning and were getting behind the team.

“I can understand if it feels to them like Brighton have 60% possession, that is not what they want to see.

“First half was Mr Hyde, second half Dr Jekyll and for a change it (the result) was different. In the end it was important to get the three points against an in-form Brighton team.

“It should have been 3-0, 4-0 after 75 minutes but there is a bit of lack of assuredness in front of goal.”

Discussing the tactical changes he made at half-time, Rangnick added: “We told our two wingers to attack centre-backs so our full-backs could jump to their full-backs. That paid off with Elanga and the red card.

“We should have killed off the game much earlier. We were not lethal enough.”

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first goal in six matches against Brighton, enduring one of the toughest spells in his illustrious career.

“It was an amazing goal and also a good performance from Cristiano,” Rangnick said.

“He was always trying to help his team-mates. In the last weeks, definitely the best performance from him. Very important not only that he scored but it was an outstanding goal.”

Twitter users reacted as Graham Potter blames Man Utd players over the controversial Lewis Dunk red card…

@VBG_10: VAR doesn’t exist at Old Trafford unless it goes United’s way. 👍🏾

@Mateuszmm1709: Never a red

@blakeydp: Webster was covering! Big six VAR decision

@Ridhogrowinup: Remember last season when we should’ve gotten a pen after Maguire brought down Welbeck in the box?

@stanleywilder21: webster would not have got there in time to stop the shot that Elanga would have likely had – a shot at goal 1 on 1 is a goal scoring opportunity and dunk made no attempt to make a tackle but just took him out completely – its a red

@bluenicks_FPL: That’s such a poor decision on the Dunk red card imo. It’s not a clear and obvious error, the Brighton defender is still in play. Not sure how you decide that he wouldn’t be involved in play had Elanga gone beyond Dunk. 🤷‍♂️ #MUNBRI

@Charlie_Gresty: Elanga is on the ground in that photo and still arguably closer to the ball than Webster. He easily beats Webster to that ball 95 times out of 100 IMO. United have got big club bias against us in the past but tonight was a red card for me

@senornunes: Webster could have crawled over there and still intercepted, let alone broken into a gentle jog. Insane to intervene and call that a clear and obvious error.

@jakekemp1986: BHA fan here. 100% red card. We hit the self-destruct button like we did away at Spurs recently.

@Berty23: This is the first time I have heard potter question a referee’s decision. He is always balanced and fair. He is clearly not happy about VAR introducing a new “penultimate man” law. Dunk messed up so arguably deserved it but VAR had no business getting involved.

@jonvallance: This is about as controversial as I’ve ever seen from Potter post-match, so it must have been a howler.

@PaddyLidders: Yellow card, covering defender behind the ball, cannot be a clear error. That’s a win for high end players faking fury & geggenpressing the ref. Massive encouragement for more absurd non sporting “outrage” from big club players going forward

@pajb49: People are saying there was a covering player but that assumes Elanga was going to run on with the ball. The fact is, as soon as he got past Dunk he would have been in a position to shoot therefore the covering player is irrelevant. A clear goalscoring opportunity was denied.

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