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Even when he was not inside the stadium Mike Dean managed to make the game about him

by Adele Chalmers (2020-11-10)


Even when he was not inside the stadium Mike Dean managed to make the game about him.

Roughly 25 miles away from Selhurst Park, at Stockley Park, Dean made the latest call which provided yet more ammunition for the anti-VAR brigade.

Leeds were left furious and baffled in equal measure when in-form Patrick Bamford had a first-half goal ruled out after he had the audacity to point to his teammate Mateusz Klich where he wanted the through ball to be played. 

Eberechi Eze scored a showstopping free-kick for Crystal Palace in their win over Leeds

Scott Dann opened the scoring for Crystal Palace in the 12th minute with a header

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Dean determined that the top of Bamford's arm, a part of his body that he can score with, was offside.

'Absurd,' Match of the Day host Gary Lineker said when he saw the freeze frame having already hit out at the implementation of the laws.

Sportsmail's Peter Crouch said: 'It's so frustrating.

We have been robbed of a perfectly good goal. I don't like this law.'

The gist of the reaction was this might be the worst offside call and, by extension, VAR-influenced decision yet.

Leeds's anger, led by their animated director of football Victor Orta, in the stands, was totally understandable.

Patrick Bamford saw his goal against Crystal Palace harshly ruled out by VAR for offside

Bamford was left baffled by the offside call and it proved costly as Leeds went on to lose  

The decision came at a pivotal time and could have made the score 1-1 and cancelled out Scott Dann's opener.

Instead Palace doubled their lead five minutes later and went on to ease to a more comfortable win that they might have expected against Marcelo Bielsa's much touted side.

Certainly more comfortable than it would have been had Bamford's 'goal' on his return to Selhurst Park stood.

Palace, though, were good value for the three points, their first at home since the season's opening day.

They took full advantage of the tight call which went their way.

Patrick Bamford added to his impressive tally for the season for the visitors only goal

They began like a side who knew they would have to fight fire with fire and only a performance of high-energy would suffice if they were to disrupt Marcelo Bielsa's high-energy side.

They threatened three times in the first 10 minutes and it was little surprise when they edged ahead.

From Eberechi Eze's corner, Scott Dann climbed highest at the back post and headed in via the cross bar.

And then came the controversy.

First Bamford appeared to have levelled with a delightful and delicate chip past Vicente Guaita only to see Dean intervene following a VAR check.

Palace defender Dann gets up highest to head home their first goal of the afternoon

A cross by Patrick van Aanholt took a deflection off Helder Costa and went into the Leeds net

Orta insisted only his striker's arm was offside because of his arm but Palace chairman Steve Parish replied that Bamford's arm position had put his shoulder just beyond deepest defender Nathaniel Clyne.

The decision only delayed Bamford and his almost inevitable goal on his return to Selhurst Park.

But first, more anger for the increasingly irate Orta.

Palace played on after Klich went down after falling awkwardly and attacked until Eze was brought down just outside the box.