As if we haven’t had enough referee mistakes to make us continue the plea for replay assistance to clueless referees, come Mike Dean and without seeing anything happening goes off and sends Fernando Torres for a clash of heads or elbows that didn’t happen, aided by a diving and injury feigning Jan Vertonghen in the London derby between Tottenham and Chelsea.
An individual clash that went on and off all day was always going to end with a red card, but unfortunately it ended with Dean absolutely reading the signs wrong. After each of them was booked, late in the second half, Fernando Torres lunged forward towards Vertonghen, trying to reach a bouncing ball.
Vertonghen headed it away and fell backwards, while pulling Torres down by the shirt. If anyone created any sort of contact, it was the Belgian centre back, but Dean made up his mind without seeing the events quite right, or getting the help he needed from the linesman.
Dean is yet another referee who might have one big mistake, but in the limited tools given to officials without the assistance of replays, while FIFA decided to foolishly invest in goal line technology and ignore actually doing what’s right for the sport, these mistakes will continue to happen, casting huge doubts over legitimacy of decisions and the results they affect.
The match ended in a 1-1 draw, with Gylfi Sigurdsson scoring for Tottenham in the first half, while John Terry equalized in the second half off a Juan Mata assist.