Premier League referee Mike Dean has admitted he made the wrong call regarding Cristian Romero pulling Marc Cucurella’s hair during Chelsea’s 2-2 draw against Tottenham on Sunday.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel was left furious at referee Anthony Taylor in the wake of the game because of some of the decisions the official made. Tuchel went as far to say that Taylor should not be put in charge of any more Chelsea games because of a tense history between the referee and the club.
What did Dean say about the hair pull on Cucurella?
Dean was in charge of VAR for the Premier League encounter at Stamford Bridge last week.
He opted not to flag the incident in which Romero pulled Cucurella’s hair before Spurs scored their late equaliser that ensured the teams shared the spoils.
“As for the second goal by Harry Kane, I asked referee Anthony Taylor to wait while I looked at the incident involving Tottenham’s Cristian Romero and Chelsea’s Marc Cucurella,” he wrote in a column for Mail+.
“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.”
Kane’s equalising goal was not the only contentious one in the game.
Tottenham’s first goal by Pierre-Emile Højbjerg also caused some controversy and the celebrations on the sidelines sparked a tussle between coach Antonio Conte and his Chelsea counterpart Tuchel.
There were complaints that the goal should have been disallowed because of a supposed foul on Kai Havertz in the build up and a possible offside on Spurs striker Richarlison.
But Dean insists he made the right call, adding: “I can’t go back 44 seconds to look at Rodrigo Bentancur’s potential foul on Kai Havertz. It is 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.”