- Dunk dismissed in win over Forestafter penalty row
- Centre-back’s reaction to penalty award led to red card
- Skipper to miss Chelsea and Brentford games in hectic Seagulls schedule
Brighton captain Lewis Dunk is set to serve a two-match ban following his red card in the recent 3-2 victory over Nottingham Forest.
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Dunk becomes first Premier League player to be sent off for abusing the referee since 2008
The centre-back received an initial yellow card from referee Anthony Taylor for questioning a penalty decision awarded to Forest. Subsequently, after a pitchside monitor check in the second half, Dunk said something to Taylor, leading to a straight red card.
Sources suggest that Dunk did not label Taylor as a cheat, but the red card indicates the use of “offensive, insulting, or abusive language,” resulting in a two-match suspension. This makes Dunk the first player to be sent off for abusing a referee while on the pitch since Alan Smith in January 2008.
Instances of red cards for dissent have occurred after the final whistle in the years since Smith’s offence. Notable examples include Lee Cattermole’s dismissal in March 2012 and Neal Maupay’s red card in May 2021. More recently, Matheus Nunes was red-carded for a similar offence while on the bench for Wolves against Leeds in March 2023.
As a consequence of the ban, the 32-year-old Dunk will be unavailable for Brighton’s Premier League clash against Chelsea on Sunday, December 3, as well as the subsequent home match against Brentford three days later.
While Brighton have strength in depth, mainly due to their excellent scouting system and organisation, however Dunk is an important player for them. In Brighton’s system the central defenders have an important role to play in retaining possession, starting attacks and building from the back. Dunk is really important in this respect and his traditional defensive qualities and ariel ability are important to the team when out of possession. Furthermore, as captain, he is an important leader who has a big influence on the side. Bettors need to assess how much Dunk’s absence will affect Brighton in the matches against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and Brentford at home. At the time of writing, BetUK have Chelsea as favourites to win at 8/11, despite only winning one home match in the Premier League this season, with a Brighton win 18/5 and a draw 33/10.
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