Manchester City fans have spent decades complaining about United receiving favourable decisions from the referee. This season, City messageboards were filled with talk of a ‘conspiracy’, in which the FA and Sky Sports were working against City to help United win the title. Seriously.
The debatable decisions table shows that United would have won the league by five points if the referee had always made the correct decisions in United games.
However, in the final game of the season, when United were just seconds away from winning the title, City played QPR’s eleven men for over half an hour after Joey Barton was sent off.
Replays show that Barton’s initial offence was in retaliation to Carlos Tevez taking a swipe at Barton though and referee Mike Dean has admitted that he should have sent him off.
FA report: “Mr Dean was questioned about the “Tevez” incident for which Mr Barton was dismissed. It was confirmed that neither the referee nor the assistant saw the alleged incident of Mr Tevez striking Mr Barton although Mr Barton immediately made representations to Mr Dean that is what happened, and such comments by Mr Barton can be clearly seen in the video. The commission accept that Mr Barton was aggrieved by the action of Mr Tevez and Mr Dean confirmed that had the incident been seen by the officials as shown by the clip supplied by Mr Barton, it would have been an automatic red card.”
What are the chances of City scoring two injury time goals if they hadn’t had a one man advantage (two if you count Dean) for 35 minutes?
You will remember that Mike Dean is the referee that allowed this winning goal to stand when United lost to Chelsea a couple of weeks before the end of the 2009-2010 season which United lost by one point.
It all matters little now but it’s worth remembering for the next time a City fan falsely claims United get all the decisions…