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De Zerbi, Stellini react to managers’ red cards in Tottenham vs Brighton

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Cristian Stellini didn't want to dwell on his argy-bargy with Roberto De Zerbi, and he praised his Tottenham team for a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Brighton.

Both Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi and Tottenham boss Cristian Stellini were ejected from Spurs’ 2-1 win on Saturday at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium following a touchline fracas that seemingly involved every coaching staff member from each team.

Except, at the start, for Stellini, who oddly enough seemed to have no clue what was going on to his left as De Zerbi raged at both the Spurs boss and anyone who would listen on Saturday.

Stellini eventually got involved, and later accepted his red card was for not controlling his bench, and the Spurs interim boss did his best to deflect from the incident (video at bottom).

[ MORE: Tottenham 2-1 Brighton player ratings, video highlights ]

Stellini didn’t say a much during his televised interview, but opened up a bit more with the assembled media

“I conceded the red card because if I try to stay calm and focus on the game I have to manage the bench and keep them calm but in that moment I was focused on the players and I wanted to speak to my players and I lost my focus on the bench but I have to say that I was respect and calm,” Stellini said, via football.london.

Stellini also engaged with an angry De Zerbi before the game, so the Spurs boss was asked about the reason for his counterpart’s rage.

“I can only say what happened on the pitch stays on the pitch,” Stellini said. “I want to let everyone understand that this is my second game as a head coach for Tottenham and I want to give respect to all managers in the Premier League. I speak like someone who wants to learn from all of the other managers.”


Roberto De Zerbi reaction

De Zerbi, for his part, conceded what anyone who’s watched a Brighton match will have noticed: his passion gets him in trouble sometimes. He also said he’s still unsure what he did that was deemed unacceptable.

“The referee said nothing to me,” De Zerbi said. “You can’t find one situation from my bench where I spoke with the referee to complain about a decision. They think I could say something. Nothing from the goal of Mitoma, nothing for the goal of Welbeck.”

The Italian boss said he felt upset by referee’s decisions that he felt favored Tottenham, and De Zerbi also noted what he believed to be “disrespect” from the Spurs’ staff.

“I’m used to always respecting everyone inside of the pitch and outside of the pitch and I don’t like when the people don’t respect me,” De Zerbi said, also from football.london. “I always respect everyone, especially the coaches. I can answer for me. Not for him. Yes [I feel he didn’t respect me]. It was a personal situation and I told him my idea. Not bad words, just my idea.

Follow @NicholasMendola