Tottenham Hotspur star should have been SENT OFF against Newcastle United - claims former referee

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Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur was fortunate to stay on the pitch against Newcastle United - according to this former Premier League referee.

Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg believes Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur should have been sent during Newcastle United’s 5-1 defeat.

A strong challenge on Allan Saint-Maximin just before half-time sparked a melee between both sets of players at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

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Clattenburg believes Bentancur showed intent to headbutt the French winger before Joelinton defended his teammate by pushing the Spurs man to the floor.

Referee Martin Atkinson showed yellow cards to all three players but Clattenburg, a Newcastle fan, believes Bentancur was lucky to stay on the field.

‘Rodrigo Bentancur can count himself fortunate’ - Clattenburg

Clattenburg told the Daily Mail: “Rodrigo Bentancur can count himself fortunate that he wasn’t sent off in first-half stoppage time.

“The Tottenham midfielder didn’t make contact with Allan Saint-Maximin but the intent was there. It was an attempted headbutt and a very clear one at that.

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“Instead, Bentancur, Saint-Maximin and Joelinton, who rushed in and pushed over the Spurs player, were simply shown yellow cards for the ‘handbags’.

“Given the way the game went for Newcastle after that, manager Eddie Howe must wonder what the second-half would have looked like had Bentancur been dismissed.”

Newcastle suffered their third straight defeat in North London, despite taking the lead on 38 minutes through Fabian Schar’s free-kick.

However, Ben Davies quickly equalised before half-time before Spurs cut through the Magpies in the second-half.

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Matt Doherty and Son Heung-min made it 3-1 inside the opening 10 minutes before Emerson Royal and Steven Bergwijn rounded off the scoring.

Eddie Howe’s side will look to bounce back against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Friday - the club’s first home game since March 5 after four away games on the spin.

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