Football

Premier League: James Maddison Should Have Been Sent Off For punch, Says Nuno Espirito Santo

Spurs playmaker Maddison was involved in an off-the-ball incident with Ryan Yates in the 44th minute, which ended with the Forest captain in a heap on the floor

Nigel French/PA
Ryan Yates and James Maddison were involved in an off-the-ball incident. Photo: Nigel French/PA
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Nottingham Forest boss Nuno Espirito Santo bemoaned another poor refereeing decision after he felt James Maddison should have been sent off during their 3-1 loss at Tottenham. (More Football News)

Spurs playmaker Maddison was involved in an off-the-ball incident with Ryan Yates in the 44th minute, which ended with the Forest captain in a heap on the floor.

Yates urged referee Simon Hooper to review the incident and replays showed Maddison did catch the Forest midfielder with a whack to the stomach, but VAR decided not to take action when the score was still 1-1.

Nuno said: “It doesn’t look like he punched him, he punched him. I saw the image and that is why I speak to you."

“I was surprised that VAR didn’t tell Simon to review it better because honestly with all my respects, Maddison loses his composure and it is a punch in the stomach of Yates."

“It should have been reviewed and a different decision. It is not a shirt with players that looks like nothing happens, no. No, it’s without the ball."

“So, there are two moments we mention (Chris Wood’s miss) in the first half that can change the game."

“I didn’t ask (Hooper), but I saw it. There is no problem in telling me I didn't see it the same way. We didn’t agree, me and VAR.”

Forest could have been ahead by this point but Wood, after he scored for a fourth consecutive match, hit the post from a matter of yards after Guglielmo Vicario had denied Yates in the 34th minute.

Spurs went on to score twice in quick succession after half-time through Micky van de Ven and Pedro Porro to end Forest’s three-match unbeaten.

It also ensured Nuno endured an unhappy first return to Tottenham since his 2021 dismissal after only 17 matches in charge.

While the Portuguese described it as a “special” occasion, he insisted his full focus was on 17th-placed Forest improving their survival chances at home to Wolves – another of his old clubs – next week.

“It was a pleasure to work here at Spurs. It was an honour. Things didn’t work out and didn’t finish well. I keep going, Spurs keep on going,” Nuno reflected."

“It was special to come here. It is always special to come to a place where you worked, but it doesn’t take away the focus. My focus is on Forest and we have to do much better next week because we are in a tough fight.”

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