What on earth was Mike Dean thinking today? The referee has regularly been talked about as having a bit of a penchant for making decisions that hurt Arsenal, like the infamous Diego Costa, Koscielny and Gabriel incident in our game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
So I for one was surprised that Mister Dean did not bottle the decision to send off Juan Mata for a second bookable offence in the game between Manchester United and West Brom at the Hawthorns. With the scores level and more than an hour to play, the decision to send off the Spaniard was always going to have a big influence and the home team did end up winning the game with a 1-0 victory through a Salomon Rondon strike.
I would not be surprised if the calamitous ref is now kicking himself because he has inadvertently done Arsenal a big favour and it would not have been an outrage if he had shown leniency on the second tackle. If Man United had won today they would have moved to withing two points of the Gunners and that may well have caused us to start worrying about them catching us instead of focusing on catching the teams above us.
Arsene Wenger and the players are under enough pressure as it is so to keep that nice five point gap on Louis van Gaal’s men is a big help and should allow us to go into our next Premier League game, which might also be against West Brom if we go out of the FA cup on Tuesday.
Hopefully, though, we will be playing Watford at the weekend and with the Baggies just a point away from the magic 40 to assure their EPL status, they may well have taken their foot off the gas a bit when we do end up facing them. Cheers Mikey.