Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Ryan Mason will be lucky to escape any sanction following his part in the bad-tempered ruckus between Spurs and Aston Villa players that led to the Belgian striker Christian Benteke being sent off on Sunday.
The Villa man correctly was sent off with 25 minutes to go after raising his hand to Mason, but the English midfielder had pushed his head into the Belgian first.
As a result of the red card, Tottenham sensed blood and Nacer Chadli cancelled out Andreas Weimann’s 16th minute strike with an 84th minute equaliser. The North London club continued to mount sustained pressure until Benteke’s rash decision was further compounded as Villa midfielder Carlos Sanchez fouled Andros Townsend.
Kane saves the day for Spurs
Harry Kane took control of the situation and fired a deflected free-kick past goalkeeper Brad Guzan for a priceless winner and a first away league victory since the opening day of the season for Tottenham.
Nevertheless, the whole tone of the game was changed by the Benteke red card and his manager Paul Lambert felt the Belgian striker was provoked.
Lambert feels Benteke was hard done-by
“The sending off, no doubt, changed the course of the game…I can’t condone what Christian did, lifting his hand, but also he was provoked. If you go back a frame in the video, you can see the lad putting his head in Christian’s face,” Paul Lambert told The Guardian.
Television pictures appear to back up Lambert’s point and the FA will be able to act, if the referee includes in his match report that he did not see Mason’s involvement in the incident.
Mauricio Pochettino said that he was pleased with the win, but that he did not see the incident that changed the game. The result leaves Tottenham three points off the top four, but Villa are now only two points above the relegation places as pressure grows on Paul Lambert following a promising start to the season.
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