KINGSTON UPON HULL, UNITED KINGDOM (AFP) - Sunderland manager Gus Poyet angrily clashed with Hull City counterpart Steve Bruce after being sent off during a stormy 1-1 Premier League draw between the teams on Tuesday.
After Senegalese striker Dame N'Doye had put hosts Hull ahead in the 15th minute at the KC Stadium, Poyet was sent to the stands for protesting about referee Mike Dean's decision to book Jack Rodwell for diving. He reacted by striding over to remonstrate with Bruce, a former Sunderland manager, who had to be restrained by the fourth official as Poyet walked away.
Poyet had the last laugh in the 77th minute when Rodwell headed in an equaliser that left Sunderland four points above the relegation zone, a point below Hull.
Sunderland's preparations for the game had been clouded by the arrest and subsequent release on bail of winger Adam Johnson over allegations he engaged in sexual activity with an under-age girl.
The England international was not in the visitors' squad, having been suspended by Sunderland pending the outcome of the police investigation, but the visitors were able to call upon centre-back Wes Brown after his red card in Saturday's 2-0 defeat by Manchester United was rescinded.
After a frenetic start, Hull went ahead when N'Doye cleverly found the net with a back-heel from Tom Huddlestone's drilled free-kick. The game's main talking point arrived in the 36th minute when Sunderland midfielder Rodwell was booked for diving after going to ground inside the Hull box.
Poyet's furious reaction saw him sent to the stands and he reacted by marching over to Bruce and proffering his hand, provoking an angry response from the Hull manager, who had to be held back by the fourth official.
Aston Villa's Christian Benteke scored a nerveless stoppage-time penalty as Villa edged West Bromwich Albion 2-1 on Tuesday to earn new manager Tim Sherwood a precious first Premier League victory. The Belgian striker's goal gave Villa their first league win since December 7, shooting the club three points clear of the relegation zone.
Aston Villa, who have never been relegated during the Premier League era, started the day second bottom and on a seven-game losing streak, their worst run for 52 years.
Southampton's Sadio Mane struck late to rejuvenate the Saints' fading battle for Champions League qualification with a 1-0 home win against Crystal Palace to move them into fifth.