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Mike Dean Set To Spoil The Party Again

pre matchMike Dean has been appointed the referee for the FA Cup Semifinal clash between Manchester United and their arch rivals Manchester City.Dean was famously denied the chance to referee the FA cup 2006 final because of the belief that he would be unable to remain unpartial towards his hometown club Liverpool.

Dean has been criticized as being free with penalty awards, though the ratio of cards per game awarded by him is close to the norm. In 454 Premier League games up to the 2009-10 season Dean has issued 3.17 yellow cards per game; the corresponding ratio for red cards issued by the referee is 0.23. That said, in a spell of 24 matches in the 2009-10 season, Dean awarded 16 penalties, an average of one every 1.5 matches as opposed to the norm of one every 3.5 matches. In fact at least one player went on record as saying that he had no hesitation in going down in the rival box, knowing Dean was the referee.

Chelsea won the Premier League last season. As much as any Chelsea player, referee Mike Dean is considered to have had a part to play in that triumph.

That the result of the match did decide the eventual winner became evident when Manchester United ended their Premiership campaign just one point adrift of the champions. This is not to suggest that Mike Dean was deliberately partial towards Chelsea, on the day.

Among the highlights of the refereeing of the game, Mike Dean was said to have refused four penalty appeals, three of them by Manchester United. According to sections of the media that highlighted the issue, this was corroborated by video evidence.

Chelsea won the match, the final score 2-1 in their favour thanks to a match winner by Didier Drogba, off a pass from Salomon Kalou. Drogba was shown by TV replays to be blatantly offside. The linesman in the eye of the storm was Simon Beck. Dean also allowed a hand-of-god goal by United's Federico Macheda towards the end of the game.

There was much speculation in the media when Dean was appointed to referee the game. A week earlier, in a match between Burnley and Blackburn Rovers, he had awarded a penalty against Burnley that had been widely criticised. Burnley manager Brian Laws went so far as to call the decision to appoint Dean to referee the Man United vs Chelsea game as being "mad".

Sir Alex Ferguson was extremely critical of the Drogba off-side incident that in effect had handed the game to the Stamford Bridge squad. But to an extent the Macheda hand-ball incident reduced the credibility of United claims of being hard done by.



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