Brighton boss Graham Potter hits out at Lewis Dunk's red card in Manchester United defeat

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Brighton boss Graham Potter hits out at sending off of Lewis Dunk in Man United defeat as ‘it wasn’t a clear goal-scoring opportunity’… but says he knew his captain would see red after ref was asked to watch it on the monitor

  • Lewis Dunk was sent off for a foul on Anthony Elanga in the 54th minute
  • Brighton skipper was initially shown a yellow card by referee Peter Bankes
  • The ref was asked to review his decision by VAR and changed it to a red card 
  • Cristiano Ronaldo fired Man United ahead three minutes before Dunk dismissal


Brighton boss Graham Potter criticised the decision to send off his captain Lewis Dunk at Old Trafford on Tuesday night and felt Manchester United’s players put pressure on the match officials.

Referee Peter Bankes initially showed Dunk a yellow card for hauling down Anthony Elanga in the 52nd minute, but he was surrounded by angry United players and changed his mind after VAR official Jarred Gillett advised him to look at the incident on a pitch-side monitor.

Potter argued it wasn’t a clear goal-scoring opportunity because Adam Webster was covering behind Dunk.

Brighton skipper Lewis Dunk was sent off for a foul on Anthony Elanga in the 54th minute

Brighton skipper Lewis Dunk was sent off for a foul on Anthony Elanga in the 54th minute

‘That is what I saw,’ he said. ‘It was a yellow card live, Webster was there on the cover. It’s not clear and obvious that he wouldn’t get there. I don’t understand the intervention.

‘I’d like to see some stats because as soon as the referee goes to the monitor it is only going to go one way, and that’s how it is.’

Asked about the actions of United’s players, he added: ‘I think you’re asking the question so you are answering it.

Ref Peter Bankes initially gave Dunk a yellow card but was asked to review his decision by VAR

Ref Peter Bankes initially gave Dunk a yellow card but was asked to review his decision by VAR

‘I don’t blame them. I’m not being critical, it is what it is. You expect that reaction – they have got to do their bit for their team.

‘Then you need the referee and VAR to make calls independent of external pressure which isn’t easy.

‘We were the better team first half. But we don’t start the second half well enough, and we get punished by a world-class finish from a world-class player and then a controversial red card.’

Cristiano Ronaldo had fired Man United ahead three minutes before Dunk was sent off

Cristiano Ronaldo had fired Man United ahead three minutes before Dunk was sent off

United’s interim manager Ralf Rangnick paid tribute to Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portugal star fired United towards an important win with his first goal in seven games.

The six-match drought was Ronaldo’s worst run of form in 13 years stretching back to his first spell at United, and he has cut a frustrated figure in recent weeks.

‘An amazing goal,’ said Rangnick. ‘Not only an important one but an amazing goal and I think overall it was a good performance by Cristiano.

‘Energetically, he was always trying to help his teammates, and I think in the last weeks it was definitely the best performance by him and a very, very important goal for us.

Jakub Moder (left) was denied a first-half equaliser by a brilliant David de Gea save

Jakub Moder (left) was denied a first-half equaliser by a brilliant David de Gea save

‘We should have killed off the game much earlier. It should have been 3-0 or 4-0 and, again, we were not quite lethal enough in those moments.’

Victory saw United leapfrog West Ham into fourth place and David de Gea admitted that is the minimum they should be aiming for.

‘We should be fighting for more things than the top-four, but that is the reality,’ said the United goalkeeper.

‘There are many teams fighting for the same position, and with the quality we have we should win a lot of points.’

Bruno Fernandes doubled United's advantage on the counter-attack in stoppage time

Bruno Fernandes doubled United’s advantage on the counter-attack in stoppage time

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