Referee Mike Dean had a mixed game on Friday night as Arsenal defeated Leicester 4-3.
Arsenal supporters don’t have the best relationship with Mike Dean. You know that he’s an interest match official when winning a game under him is a statistical anomaly.
On Friday night, Dean had a mixed game. He refrained from sending any Arsenal players off, which was a welcome change of pace, but also got a couple of big calls wrong.
According to Team Talk, there were three major decisions Dean had to call.
The first was a handball involving Leicester’s Wilfried Ndidi. Sead Kolasinac had flicked the ball towards Ndidi, whose outstretched hand made contact with the ball. Dean decided it was ball-to-hand, while replays suggested it was hand-to-ball and should have been an Arsenal penalty.
His second big decision involved another handball. Before the corner that led to Arsenal’s third goal, Mesut Ozil was shown to have handled the ball. It was a pretty blatant handball, and Dean somehow missing it ended up working in our favour.
However, any talk of it turning the game in Arsenal’s favour can be countered by Leicester’s horrific defending on the corner. It wasn’t a handball that helped Arsenal have three players open in the penalty area.
The final big decision was Olivier Giroud’s goal. The ball quite obviously crossed the line, but wasn’t confirmed until Dean checked his watch. This isn’t a big decision as much as it was the officials using the technology to clear up any doubt.
Whether they thought it was in or not, the technology would have ruled in Arsenal’s favour.