"Not a red card..." Brighton boss's verdict on sending off v Sheffield United and English referees

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 12: Roberto De Zerbi, Manager of Brighton & Hove Albion, interacts with referee John brooks after the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Sheffield United at American Express Community Stadium on November 12, 2023 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

Roberto De Zerbi, the Brighton and Hove Albion manager, took aim at English referees after his side's 1-1 draw at home to Sheffield United this afternoon. The Seagulls dominated possession in the first half but came away with only a point after Mahmoud Dahoud's red card.

United scored their equaliser a few moments after Albion had been reduced to 10 men, when Adam Webster put Jayden Bogle's cross through his own goal. De Zerbi saw it as two points dropped and said of the sending off decision: "If I see the new rules it's a red card, clear, but I was a player and the dynamic of the situation is not a red card.

"We have to accept it, Mahmoud knows the mistake but it can happen. The same for other players and other countries. I think he has the right experience to not make this mistake but it can happen in football. We are in an unlucky period, we lost four points. Two against Fulham and two against Sheffield.

"We can improve, yes, and we can improve when we have a chance to close the game. We have to kill the game. When there are five, 10, 15 or 20 minutes when we have to defend and suffer, we have to do with more order and energy. Because after the red card I didn't like the team. We defended in a bad way and we could do better."

De Zerbi added: "I don't like 80 per cent of English referees but it is not a new thing. I don't like them. I don't like how they behave on the pitch. I have to think only about my players, it's not my job and I accept everything.

"We have to analyse the game well. There wasn't a game until the red card, only one team on the pitch. Brighton could win the game two, three nil. After the red card the game changed. But 11 v 11, there was only one team on the pitch and we played a great game. We have to analyse that game. After the red card we can say other things but the situation with one player less, we lost order and we lost our style."