Explained: Why Brighton's Roberto De Zerbi was sent off without using 'bad words' towards referee

Roberto De Zerbi Brighton Fulham 22-23
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Roberto De Zerbi revealed he got sent off after Brighton's loss to Fulham for criticising the standard of officiating in the Premier League.
  • Brighton boss sent off in tunnel
  • Scrutinised general standard of Premier League officiating
  • Will likely miss FA Cup trip to Stoke

WHAT HAPPENED? Manor Solomon's late goal was enough for Fulham to beat Brighton on Saturday but the hosts lost something more. Soon after the final whistle, Darren England showed De Zerbi a red card as the pair went down the AMEX tunnel. The Brighton manager was unhappy that potential penalties for fouls on Kauro Mitoma and Joel Veltman went unchecked by VAR.

WHY WAS HE SENT OFF? It seems England took exception to the manner in which De Zerbi was telling him that Tuesday's PGMOL meeting, organised after an error-strewn weekend last week, would be the last one he'd be attending.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, De Zerbi confirmed: "I told the referee this week, we had a meeting with his boss and I lost time in my work, in my job because I think the level of refereeing in the Premier League is very bad. To progress, we have to be with a different attitude and the referee today wasn't in a good attitude. But it's not a problem. I didn't say any bad words, but I told him my opinion. I lost time to prepare my team. It was the last time I will have a meeting [with the PGMOL]."

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Darren England Brighton Fulham 22-23

Darren England Lewis Dunk Brighton Fulham 22-23

THE BIGGER PICTURE: While De Zerbi perhaps should not have expressed his feelings so blatantly, it's no surprise the topic is at the forefront of his mind. Pervis Estupinian was controversially denied a goal for Brighton at Crystal Palace last week and Brentford's equaliser at Arsenal should have been ruled out for offside with theVAR official for that one, Lee Mason, since leaving PGMOL.

WHAT'S NEXT FOR DE ZERBI: The expectation is that the Brighton boss will be handed a one-match touchline ban, meaning he'll be watching the Seagulls' FA Cup tie away at Stoke on February 28 in the stands.