August 4, 2021

Saints appeal Bednarek red; Dean and Mason ‘requests’ not true

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There is no truth behind reports claiming Southampton have put in an official request for Mike Dean and Lee Mason to not officiate their upcoming games, though the Saints have appealed Jan Bednarek’s red card against Manchester United.

It is understood Southampton were upset about decisions made in Tuesday’s 9-0 defeat at United, but no formal complaint was made.

Dean was the referee for that match, with Mason the fourth official at Old Trafford as Southampton were reduced to 10 men after 79 seconds when 18-year-old Alex Jankewitz, on his full Premier League debut, saw red for a horror tackle on Scott McTominay.

That prompted a capitulation from Saints, who at 6-0 down late into the second half were aggrieved when Bednarek was sent off for a last-man foul on Anthony Martial.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester United’s win against Southampton in the Premier League

Dean initially awarded a spot-kick but only checked for a possible red card offence on the pitchside monitor when notified by video assistant referee (VAR) Graham Scott.

Rules state if last-man defenders bring down attackers without attempting to play the ball, they will be sent off.

Dean opted to show Bednarek a red, though the centre-back did not agree with the decision and could be heard saying “Martial said it’s not a foul” before walking down the tunnel.

After the match, Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl said: “The second red card is most disappointing, we don’t have any more players. Jan Bednarek does not kill him but I do not want to speak about the referee. Last week he was our VAR and made his mark in the game.

“In such a moment you think they (the officials) should have a feeling for the situation, that we are punished enough. But if you want to send a mark then do it in this moment, if you think you must settle the game then do it. Anyway, it is not important.”

Jan Bednarek was sent off late on during Southampton's 9-0 defeat
Image: Jan Bednarek was sent off late on during Southampton’s 9-0 defeat at Manchester United

Meanwhile, Mason was the referee for Southampton’s 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa last weekend, with Dean the VAR.

The narrow loss featured a contentious handball decision which went against Southampton when the ball appeared to strike Matty Cash’s arm inside the box.

Dean checked the incident, which came from a Stuart Armstrong shot, but a penalty was not awarded with the scoreline still at 0-0.

“Every chance here they’re going to get a penalty on that evidence,” Sky Sports co-commentator Alan Smith said at the time when VAR analysed the footage. “The arm comes out, he’s making himself bigger. They’ve got to give it haven’t they. I wouldn’t have thought it would take too many views to make up their mind.”

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Aston Villa’s win over Southampton in the Premier League

After more than a minute, Dean ruled no penalty, and Villa claimed the three points thanks to a first-half Ross Barkley strike, with the Saints also denied a late goal when Danny Ings was deemed offside.

“The handball was a good save from the player, it was good goalkeeping I think,” Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl said afterwards.

“It was not the VAR decision, but for us, it was definitely a very good save. If that’s the rule then that’s the rule – let’s keep on going – but I think it was undeserved to have no point.”

Ref Watch: Both Saints incidents analysed

Southampton 0-1 Aston Villa

INCIDENT: Early in the game, Stuart Armstrong’s shot hit Matty Cash on the arm inside the area. However, when looked at by VAR referee Mike Dean, he judged that the ball had hit Cash on the thigh before his arm and a penalty was not given.

DERMOT’S VERDICT: Incorrect decision.

Cash handball

DERMOT SAYS: “My immediate reaction was penalty. VAR looks at it and they are of the opinion it flicks off the thigh. The law is quite interesting in so much as it says if the ball rebounds off your own body and up to your arm, you can’t give handball but there is a caveat that says if your arms are outstretched and in an unnatural position, you can still give handball.

“I think the best solution for me would be to give handball because the arm is outstretched. There are many others in the camp saying it has definitely struck his body so if it hadn’t had flicked his thigh, it wouldn’t have hit his arm. But, without doubt, his arm has stopped that ball progressing forward.

“The law is a bit complex and it depends on which referee it comes down to. As I say, I would have given a penalty. VAR on that day decided that part of the law and the ball striking his thigh allowed him not to.”

Man Utd 9-0 Southampton

INCIDENT: With 10-man Southampton already trailing Manchester United 6-0 at Old Trafford, referee Mike Dean awards the host a penalty after Anthony Martial goes to ground inside the box under a challenge from Jan Bednarek. The Polish centre-back is dismissed by Dean upon VAR review.

VERDICT: Incorrect decision.

DERMOT SAYS: “I didn’t think it was a penalty. Bednarek goes to make the challenge but I think he realises, goes to pull out and I think Martial drags his leg into Bednarek. Once the referee gives a penalty it’s checked by the VAR and they say it’s not a clear and obvious error. VAR felt there should be a sanction and sent Mike to the screen.

“When he looks at it, he sees the goalkeeper hasn’t got the ball and therefore under the denial of a goalscoring opportunity [rule], once the penalty has been given and approved, Bednarek, unfortunately, has to receive a red card.”