Poll: Ramirez’s petulance out of character, says Hull City boss Bruce

STEVE BRUCE has called for match officials to use more common sense in the Premier League after admitting Gaston Ramirez’s red card was the turning point in Hull City’s defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.

Hull City's Jake Livermore (centre) celebrates scoring their first goal with his team-mates

The Tigers slipped to a third consecutive loss and to within a point of the relegation zone yesterday as the London club came from a goal behind to triumph 2-1.

Christian Eriksen’s dramatic last-minute winner capped a fightback by Spurs that had begun early in the second half following the dismissal of Ramirez.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Hull’s Uruguayan loanee, on his first start since joining from Southampton on transfer deadline day, saw red after kicking out at Jan Vertongen just moments after clashing with Moussa Dembele.

Ramirez’s moment of madness came when Hull were 1-0 ahead and in total control.

Spurs subsequently made their numerical superiority pay, with Harry Kane cancelling out Jake Livermore’s early opener and then Eriksen netting the winner.

Bruce said: “It is hard enough to win a game with 11 men, let alone 10, and it gave all the impetus to Spurs.

“We played so well against them in the first half. Who would know what the outcome was with 11, but I am sure we would have stood a better chance.

“For me the whole spectacle and result was ruined by that one incident.

“There is no doubt about it that Ramirez has shown petulance.

“Vertonghen has had a little go at him, which is there for everyone to see. That provokes him (Ramirez) and he has flicked out.

“He has tapped him on the backside. If that takes him to the ground, then I cannot really understand that.

“Vertonghen is a big strapping 6ft 2ins centre-back and he is rolling around as if he has been poleaxed. That can’t be healthy for the Premier League.

“If this is going to creep in, we talk about diving and cheating. I see people get pushed in the face, they fall over and roll over.

“That is the disappointing thing for me because it is creeping in. But, then again, the linesman should have a bit more about him.

“For me it is an act of petulance, it is not violent conduct. For me, a bit of common sense is needed.

“Can the referee and the linesman use a bit of experience and say, ‘He has had a little tap at him and it is a yellow card’.

“I know referees have a big job. They have to be seen to apply the letter of the law because they get marked down. But the big referees, the good ones, have got a common sense about them.

“Even in my day, they had that. They let the game go. They realise these things happen.”

Asked if Ramirez, who is facing a three-game ban, had said anything about the incident in the dressing room after Hull’s 2-1 defeat, Bruce replied: “He didn’t have to.

“He is totally and utterly despondent. It is so out of character. He is such a quiet individual and it was his first start.

“He has been carrying a bit of an injury for six or eight weeks, he has just got rid of it and he was playing very, very well. It was not like him.

“It was petulance. If someone kicks out, goes over the top, headbutts someone or throws an elbow at someone’s face, then I can and will act. But this was an act of petulance.”

Before Ramirez’s dismissal, Hull had been hugely impressive and totally dominated the first half.

On chances created, the hosts really should have managed more than Livermore’s eighth minute strike against his old club.

That said, Hull this morning sit one point above the drop zone with just 11 points from 12 games.

However, Bruce said: “I think I have a better squad than I did last year so I am convinced we will be okay.

“I think that is five times we have conceded in the last minute. That is cruel.

“We were far, far better than at Burnley (who Hull lost 1-0 to before the international break). If we play like we did in the first half, things will change for us. We were excellent in the first half.

“It helps when you have players back from injury such as Nikica Jelavic, Allan McGregor and Michael Dawson – experienced Premier League players – down the spine of your team.”

Mohamed Diame missed yesterday’s defeat after suffering a tendon injury in training on Saturday. He will have a scan on the problem today.

Match report: Page 3.