Spurs striker Harry Kane: Jack Rodwell should have been sent off for ‘dangerous tackle’ on Mousa Dembele

Mousa Dembele is hacked down by Jack Rodwell as he attempts to break. Picture: PA

Mousa Dembele is hacked down by Jack Rodwell as he attempts to break. Picture: PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Tottenham striker Harry Kane says Sunderland’s Jack Rodwell should have been sent off in the first half of Tuesday’s stalemate at the Stadium of Light - and he feels referee Lee Mason should have protected Spurs’ players better.

Harry Kane is challenged by Rodwell. Picture: PA

Harry Kane is challenged by Rodwell. Picture: PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

A promising situation was developing in the first half as Lilywhites midfielder Mousa Dembele led a counter-attack and skipped past Rodwell into open ground – but the Belgian was then crudely and cynically scythed down by his opponent.

Mason decided to show a yellow card rather than red, and Spurs then got caught up in a battle against David Moyes’ struggling team, only mustering three shots on target.

In the end they were forced to settle for a 0-0 draw and, although Tottenham moved up into second place, they failed to capitalise fully as Arsenal suffered a shock home defeat against Watford and leaders Chelsea drew with fourth-placed Liverpool.

Kane said: “You could say the other team were physical. I think there were some decisions on that pitch that were very surprising.

“Mousa getting kicked knee-high… If you go up to anyone on the pitch and kick them knee-height on purpose, it doesn’t matter if it’s a ‘tactical foul’, let’s say - it’s a red card.

“There’s another one. Sonny [Heung-Min Son] has got a big gash going down his shin where the guy’s kicked the ball and followed through onto his shin.

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“Yes it’s physical, but then I think we have to be protected as well, so obviously we’re disappointed from that side of it. It was a disappointing night.

“The referee obviously just saw it as a tactical foul, but I think we all know a pull on the shirt or a trip on the foot or the shin even [is one thing]. Kicking someone knee-height on purpose like that is a dangerous tackle and, for me, I think it’s definitely a red card.”

Kane concedes that some of his anger stems from Spurs’ own failings, saying: “We’re disappointed that we probably didn’t play well enough on the night anyway.

“Of course [the result] is very frustrating, especially when you come in and find out the teams around us dropped points as well. It was a great opportunity for us.

“No-one expected Arsenal to drop points. With Liverpool and Chelsea, no-one knew either way, but we definitely see it as a missed opportunity to gain some ground - but there’s nothing we can do now.

“We’ve got another important game at the weekend [at home against Middlesbrough]. Arsenal and Chelsea play each other as well so one or both of them might drop points and we’ve got to be ready to capitalise.

“Teams are fighting for their lives and you can understand they’re going to battle hard and work hard, especially against the bigger teams - at home as well.

“We’re ready for that, we’ve got no excuses about that. We’ve just got to perform better.

“Teams can [be physical against us] but I still think it’s down to us to play better as well. We didn’t play as well as we have done in recent weeks, we know that.

“It’s just an observation - I think most people watching that game or seeing that challenge [by Rodwell] would agree with us.”

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