Mike Dean admits he should have acted differently when analyzing an incident which saw Cristian Romero pull Marc Cucurella’s hair during Tottenham’s draw at Chelsea.
Stamford Bridge’s spirited clash, which ended 2-2, was fraught with pitfalls in which managers Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte clashed after Spurs’ first goal and full-time.
Spurs snatched a point in the dying seconds of the game as Harry Kane headed home from a corner.
The corner was delayed after Cucurella went to ground with replays clearly showing he had been brought down by Romero with the Spurs defender pulling his opponent by the hair.
The incident was reviewed by VAR but play was allowed to continue with Romero slipping away unpunished.
Tuchel expressed frustration that Romero was allowed to get away with pulling his player’s hair – anger at Chelsea’s end leading to an online petition demanding referee Anthony Taylor never referee a game again involving the Blues.
However, Taylor was never told to watch the incident involving Cucurella and Romero on his pitchside monitor – which Dean now admits he should have done.
“Sometimes, in hindsight, you realize that you could have acted differently. I’ve now had time to reflect on Sunday’s clash at Stamford Bridge,” Dean said in his Daily Mail column.
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“I asked referee Anthony Taylor to wait while I watched the incident involving Tottenham’s Cristian Romero and Chelsea’s Marc Cucurella.
“I couldn’t award a free kick as a VAR, but I could recommend Taylor go to the referee review area to consider a possible red card. For the few seconds I had to watch Romero pull Cucurella’s hair, I didn’t consider it a violent act.
“I have since studied the footage, spoken to other referees and, on reflection, should have asked Taylor to visit his pitchside monitor to take a look for himself.
“The referee on the pitch always has the final say. It shows that no matter your experience, and I’ve spent over two decades as a Premier League official, you’re always learning.
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