Chelsea 2-2 Spurs: Mike Dean admits error he made during game

Mike Dean

Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur last weekend was marred with controversy.

The Blues felt Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s goal in the 68th minute should have been ruled out.

Kai Havertz was wiped out by Rodrigo Bentancur in the build-up, while Chelsea felt a offside should have been given against Richarlison for blocking Edouard Mendy’s view.

But, despite Chelsea’s complaints, the goal was allowed to stand.

With Chelsea 2-1 up and defending a late corner, Marc Cucurella went to ground after having his hair pulled by Cristian Romero.

The Argentine was not penalised and, from the resulting corner, Harry Kane found the net to snatch a point.

Mike Dean was the VAR for the match and he has now reflected on the game in a fascinating column in the Daily Mail. He is adamant Spurs’ first goal was right to stand, but has admitted he made the wrong decision on Romero’s hair pull.

On Hojbjerg’s goal

“This one was relatively straightforward. I can’t go back 44 seconds to look at Rodrigo Bentancur’s potential foul on Kai Havertz. Outside the attacking phase of play – the Tottenham player got a toe to the ball anyway – so that wasn’t a factor in whether Hojbjerg’s goal should stand.

“The question was whether Richarlison was interfering from an offside position. When Hojbjerg’s shot was struck, Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy had a view of the ball for me. His line of vision wasn’t clearly blocked, so it was onside and 1-1.”

 Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg finds the net in Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham
LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 14: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg of Tottenham Hotspur scores their sides first goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on August 14, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

On Romero’s hair pull on Cucurella

“I could not award a free-kick as VAR, but I could recommend to Taylor that he visit the referee review area to consider a possible red card. In the few seconds I had to study Romero pulling Cucurella’s hair, I didn’t deem it a violent act.

“I’ve since studied the footage, spoken to other referees and, upon reflection, I should have asked Taylor to visit his pitch-side monitor to take a look for himself. The referee on field always has the final say. It goes to show that no matter how experienced you are, and I’ve spent more than two decades as a Premier League official, you are always learning.

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“It’s disappointing for me as this was one incident in an otherwise very good weekend from our officials.”

Fair play to Dean. It’s refreshing to see officials take accountability for their mistakes.

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