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Japhet Tanganga appeared to call Wilfried Zaha a "pussio" before being sent off in Tottenham's 3-0 defeat away at Crystal Palace.
Nuno Espirito Santo suffered his first loss as Spurs head coach on Saturday, with Palace scoring three times inside the final 15 minutes at Selhurst Park to bring his unbeaten start to an end.
Tanganga may find himself on the end of a Nuno hairdryer in the dressing room, as in the end his sending off just before the hour mark cost the north London club.
The 22-year-old first picked up a yellow card 10 minutes into the second half following a scuffle with Zaha.
He first brought down the Palace ace with a heavy challenge, before the pair and some of their team-mates became embroiled in a brief skirmish.
And as tempers flared in South London, television cameras appeared to spot Tanganga calling Zaha a "pussio" during the incident.
The two players were both handed yellow cards for their role in the shoving contest.
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However, three minutes later things went from bad to worse for Tanganga when he was handed a second booking for flying into a late tackle on Jordan Ayew.
Referee Jon Moss had no choice but to give the Spurs defender his marching orders, and it was a moment which proved significant in the end.
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Because 15 minutes later Palace were awarded a penalty when Ben Davies was deemed to have handled the ball with his arm inside the box, allowing Wilfried Zaha to step up and convert from the spot.
That was before new Eagles signing Odsonne Edouard came off the bench to put the hosts out of sight, scoring twice in the final 10 minutes of the game to compound Spurs' misery.
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Nuno and co are now likely to be knocked off top spot in the Premier League following their defeat at Selhurst Park.
West Ham, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Everton, Manchester City, Brighton and Leicester could all move above Spurs by winning this weekend.
- Premier League
- Tottenham Hotspur FC
- Crystal Palace FC
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