Mike Dean and Lee Mason grab headlines as Tomas Soucek is sent off against Fulham after bizarre VAR decision February 6, 2021 – Posted in: Soccer
Mike Dean made headlines yet again after sending off Tomas Soucek in the third minute of added time during West Ham United’s dour draw with Fulham.
The Hammers held on for a 0-0 draw, but the drama centred solely on Dean and VAR official Lee Mason after sending Soucek off for an apparent elbow on Aleksandr Mitrovic.
According to Sky Sports, Mason apparently told Dean to go over to the monitor on the side of the pitch after ‘identifying a clenched fist’.
However, Mitrovic even appeared to plead Soucek’s case while Dean investigated, before eventually sending the Czech Republic international off.
The drama should not distract from what was an inspired performance by Fulham, whose lack of cutting edge once again proved to be their downfall.
Scott Parker’s side played like they were the ones gunning for Europe, with the Hammers lacking the fluency going forward which inspired them to victory against Aston Villa on Wednesday night.
However, just days after Mike Dean made the headlines for sending off Jan Bednarek against Manchester United, the 52-year-old once again is under scrutiny.
Fulham started brightly and got into the West Ham box with both Bobby Decordova-Reid and Ruben Loftus-Cheek having shots blocked by the visiting defenders inside the opening 10 minutes.
However it was West Ham who had the first significant chance, when Jarrod Bowen was inches away from meeting a well-hit cross from Aaron Cresswell.
West Ham were almost able to turn their aerial threat goalwards, with Soucek rising highest to meet a corner only to see his header fly over the bar.
Ademola Lookman had an opportunity for Fulham after finding a yard of space just outside the box, but he pulled his low shot just wide of the goal.
Fulham had to wait until just before half-time for their first attempt on target, but Ivan Cavaleiro’s header lacked power and Lukasz Fabianski was able to gather easily.
At the start of the second half, Fulham captain Joachim Andersen found Decordova-Reid but his volley went over the bar, with Loftus-Cheek also putting a chipped shot wide just moments later.
In the 63rd minute West Ham hit the frame of the goal, Declan Rice put a ball into the area and Vladimir Coufal made good contact, but his header rebounded out off the crossbar above Alphonse Areola’s goal.
Moments after coming on from the bench, Aleksandar Mitrovic almost put the home side ahead, when the ball fell for him at the edge of the box but his low drive went just wide of the goal.
West Ham were reduced to 10 men in the final moments of added time when Soucek was shown the red card and look set to be without the midfielder as they continue their push for a European place.