Mike Dean was trending on Twitter before Monday night’s Merseyside Derby had even begun, thanks to fans speculating about how the Wirral-based referee would make himself the star of the show.
The 48-year-old had not reffed Liverpool or Everton for 10 years, due to silly fears that his place of residence was too close to Merseyside.
For most of the match, Dean was far from controversy – as was the game itself which was a total snorefest for the first hour. However, controversy finally found Dean in the 69th minute when he failed to send off Everton midfielder Ross Barkley for a nailed on red-card tackle on Jordan Henderson.
— Liverpool Gifs (@lfcgif) December 19, 2016
Barkley was only shown a yellow card for this horror lunge.
And Dean delivered the booking with some panache, looking away from the player completely as he raised the card towards him.
Once the controversy had arrived it was just like an opened can of Pringles – one pop and it just didn’t stop (sort of).
Barkley should have been sent off again, but he escaped a second yellow for kicking the ball away.
Eight minutes of stoppage time were then signalled, during which Sadio Mane struck a scrappy winner for Jurgen Klopp’s men.
It finished 0-1. MotM: Mike Dean.
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