Touchline bust-up as managers erupt
Sunderland's draw with Hull was more eventful off the field than on it, with the two managers squaring up to each other
Sunderland drew 1-1 with Hull City on Tuesday night but the match was marred by an ugly touchline confrontation between the two managers.
Hull's Steve Bruce squared up to Gus Poyet after the Sunderland boss was sent off for his heated reaction to an on-field incident. When Sunderland midfielder Jack Rodwell was shown a yellow card by referee Mike Dean for simulation, Poyet exploded on the touchline and was subsequently dismissed. But according to BBC Sport, instead of heading to the stands the Uruguayan walked across to the Hull dugout to confront Bruce. There "the pair exchanged words before Bruce lost his cool and had to be restrained by an assistant referee and members of his coaching staff."Bruce remained coy afterwards on the nature of the conversation that sparked the melee, saying only: "I don't know what I was supposed to have done". He then described the incident as "grown men acting like a couple of children".Bruce added that in his opinion Rodwell had dived and deserved a yellow card. "The ref has seen it," he said. "From Gus's reaction, it looks as though he didn't agree."Rodwell had the last say in the match, however, heading a late equaliser to cancel out Dame N'Doye's early strike. The result leaves Hull in 15th spot with Sunderland breathing down their neck in 16th position, just one point behind.The touchline tete-a-tete was the culmination of a turbulent 24 hours for Sunderland manager Guy Poyet. On Monday Adam Johnson had been arrested for alleged sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl and the winger remains suspended by the Black Cats. Asked about the matter, Poyet told reporters: "The only thing I can tell you is that it was a very difficult day yesterday. Very difficult day. I never had one like that."In the night's other results, Southampton moved into fifth spot thanks to their first home goal in six and a half hours of match time. Sadio Mane was the man to end the goal drought, the Senegalese striker pouncing on the rebound after James Ward-Prowse's shot was parried by Crystal Palace keeper Julian Speroni.The result means the Saints – having played a game more than their rivals – are one point above Liverpool and one shy of Manchester United, both of whom play tonight. "We needed that three points because you saw today it wasn't the best game we played this season," conceded Southampton manager Ronald Koeman. "It's one of the key moments of the season with three points and 10 days off, the situation is more comfortable and will be good for the players."
Meanwhile Aston Villa's 2-1 win over West Brom moves them out of the relegation zone and handed Tim Sherwood his first win since becoming manager last month. Christian Benteke was Villa's hero, scoring the winner from the penalty spot deep into injury time. "When I left home my wife said she'd done the Euro lottery with a £54m jackpot," quipped Sherwood after the final whistle. "But I said I'd take three points all the way."