Roberto De Zerbi, Brighton & Hove Albion’s head coach has indicated that Cristian Stellini, Tottenham Hotspur’s acting coach lacks respect after the two Italians were sent off following a strange touchline burst-up.
De Zerbi and Stellini clashed as Tottenham Hotspur solidified a controversial 2-1 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday, 8th of April, 2023, to boost their English Premier League top-four hope.
Brighton head coach, De Zerbi showed his displeasure when approached by Stellini before the kickoff, certainly giving his contrary number a piece of his mind.
De Zerbi continued to complain at Stellini during the match and tensions between the two coaches arose after Brighton has a second goal disallowed by Video Assistance Referee (VAR) for handball.
Stellini and De Zerbi were both sent off, and De Zerbi claimed later that he had been treated disrespectfully by Stellini without offering any details.
Stellini’s comment from earlier this week, in which he suggested that the 43-year-old had only continued the good work of his predecessor Graham Potter, is believed to have irritated De Zerbi.
To make matters worse, Brighton now finds themselves 10 points behind fourth place with a game in hand after being denied a penalty on three separate occasions by the Video Assistant Referee.
De Zerbi has done a fantastic job since taking over from Graham Potter in September, leading the Seagulls to a spot in the European qualification round. Several major teams, notably Spurs, are interested in him as a result of his work at the Amex.
Tottenham Hotspur, meanwhile, has played one more game than fourth-place Manchester United and has reduced the gap to three points, Stellini thinks his team was due for some good luck with VAR.
De Zerbi and Stellini burst up in brief;
As both managers shook hands, De Zerbi scolded the Spurs’ interim coach, leaving Stellini shocked.
Stellini left after tapping De Zerbi on the back, but the latter kept talking after they had parted ways.
With his finger raised, De Zerbi looked back toward Stellini as he returned to his technical area. Stellini retaliated by lifting his hand in an indirect gesture of defiance towards Brighton’s manager.
De Zerbi crossed the distance between the opponents by placing his finger beneath Stellini’s chin. He pointed numerous times while Stellini answered, finally pointing back at himself.
What’s next for the two managers?
Both managers will likely face consequences for the red cards they received; for Roberto De Zerbi, this might mean a third touchline suspension of the season.
The Italian had suffered suspension after receiving a red card against Fulham and another warning of the season against Crystal Palace.
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