Premier League referee Mike Dean left fans astonished as he appeared unimpressed by a VAR decision to award a penalty to Arsenal against Watford in the Premier League on Sunday.
Experienced official Dean was caught on camera wearing a mystified frown as a lengthy remote check of replays adjudged Gunners striker Alexandre Lacazette to have been fouled by Watford defender Craig Dawson just two minutes into the final game of the league season at the Emirates Stadium.
Dean had initially decided not to award a spot kick, but Arsenal top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang converted the penalty for the first of his two first-half goals after Dean’s view was overturned.
Arsenal fans argued that Dean had been aggrieved by the decision and accused him of bias against Mikel Arteta’s side, with one viewer speculating that he had been ‘disgusted’ at having to oversee a penalty for the hosts.
Others suggested that the technologically-driven intervention had influenced his decision to give Watford a penalty two minutes before the break, which Troy Deeney scored to leave the Hornets 3-1 down at half-time.
A popular Arsenal blogger reacted by saying: ‘Mike Dean’s face when he’s overruled by VAR and HAS to give Arsenal a penalty is all time iconic image.’
Deeney’s penalty sparked an unsuccessful comeback from Watford, who were relegated after finishing second-bottom in the Premier League.
Former Arsenal star Danny Welbeck scored their second and the only goal of the second half as they failed to earn the win that would have saved them from Championship football next season.
Dean has awarded seven penalties to Arsenal in 38 matches involving the club that he has officiated, compared to 12 in 38 for near-neighbours Tottenham and 15 in 40 for London rivals Chelsea.