Watford captain Troy Deeneey has accused Bournemouth’s Dan Gosling of “trying to do” Tom Cleverley in a tackle during Wednesday’s 3-3 draw.
Gosling was booked for the challenge, a decision Deeney says was one of a “few” where referee David Coote “bottled it”.
Cherries boss Eddie Howe said the tackle was “mistimed” and “not a red”.
Deeney also felt team-mate Abdoulaye Doucoure was “lucky” not to have been sent-off for a first-half challenge on Ryan Fraser, which he was booked for.
Fraser, who was standing next to Deeney while he was being interviewed for the BBC’s Match of the Day programme, raised his eyebrows in reaction to the comments.
“Doucoure probably did get lucky (not to be sent off), but you can’t tell me that their boy [Gosling] did not try to do Tom Cleverley,” said Deeney, who also felt Watford should have been awarded a penalty for a handball by Nathan Ake.
“They know it. We know. But the referee bottled it on a few occasions.”
Deeney could find himself in trouble with the Football Association for his comments. But Southampton striker Charlie Austin avoided punishment for his epic rant at the match officials in November after a 1-1 draw with Watford.
In defending Gosling, Howe added: “I don’t think it was dangerous, Dan’s tackle; for me it’s not a red card. I know Dan inside and out, he’s not that type of player.
“Yes he’s mistimed the tackle. But in terms of those words (from Deeney) that’s not in Dan’s make-up.”
Howe also criticised Doucoure’s “dangerous tackle” which he felt deserved a red card, adding: “Ryan was very fortunate not to pick up a serious injury.”
When asked if Doucoure was lucky to avoided a red card, Watford boss Javi Gracia added: “Yes, but he was the same as Dan Gosling.”