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Mike Dean admits VAR error with Marc Cucurella, Cristian Romero incident

Mike Dean admits VAR error with Marc Cucurella, Cristian Romero incident

Mike Dean has said that he should have requested that referee Anthony Taylor look at the pitchside monitor to make a decision on an incident involving Chelsea wing-back Marc Cucurella and Tottenham Hotspur defender Cristian Romero on Sunday.

With Chelsea leading 2-1 and the game midway through six minutes of added-on time, Romero pulled Cucurella’s hair as a corner was delivered into the penalty area.

The referee did not view the incident in its entirety and Dean decided at the time that the infringement should not be deemed to be violent conduct.

After no action was taken and a second corner was delivered into the penalty area, Spurs equalised through a last-gasp Harry Kane header.

© Reuters

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel was left incensed by VAR’s failure to advise a red card against Romero, as well as insisting that Spurs’ first goal should not have stood due to an offside.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Dean has insisted that Richarlison was not interfering with play sufficiently to affect goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.

However, Dean, who retired as a Premier League referee at the end of last season, has acknowledged that he made the wrong call with regards to a potential red card for Romero.

Dean said: “I asked referee Anthony Taylor to wait while I looked at the incident involving Tottenham’s Cristian Romero and Chelsea’s Marc 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 pitchside 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.

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel and Tottenham Hotspur head coach Antonio Conte have a tiff on August 14, 2022.© Reuters

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

In the aftermath of Spurs’ equaliser being allowed to stand, Tuchel and Antonio Conte were involved in a heated confrontation when shaking hands at the full-time whistle.

Although they received a straight red card for their respective parts in that incident, tensions had boiled over from an exchange after Spurs’ first goal earlier in the game.

Both are now expected to serve one-match touchline bans this weekend unless they are successful with any appeals over their current punishment.

A draw for Spurs kept them above London rivals Chelsea in the Premier League standings on goal difference.

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