Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane believes Jack Rodwell should have been sent off for his challenge on Mousa Dembele.
But Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino refused to criticise referee Lee Mason who showed a yellow card to Rodwell for the ugly challenge when the away players were demanding a red.
Rodwell was booked during the first half of the goalless draw at the Stadium of Light when he deliberately chopped the Spurs midfielder down.
The tackle angered Spurs and England striker Kane, who said some of the decisions by Mason were "very surprising".
Kane said: "I think Mousa getting kicked knee-high on the pitch, 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.
"The referee didn't explain why it wasn't a red. He obviously just saw it as a tactical foul.
"But I think we all know that a pull on the shirt or a trip on the foot or the shin even is one thing.
"But kicking someone knee-height on purpose like that, I think's a dangerous tackle and for me it's definitely a red card."
Spurs boss Pochettino said he "supported the decision of the referee" when asked about the incident post-match.
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