Mike Dean Missed Ramires Punching Seb Larsson

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Ramires is a dirty player. I get that. He’s got a temper on him, as well. (See: Mark Clattenburg.) I sort of get that, too.

But you can not hit a player in the face. Not even Sebastian Larsson, whom I realize is kind of a c—.

You just can’t.

There’s no reason in the world you can give me to excuse why that’s okay, so for the Chelsea fans who are already starting:

You can not hit a player in the face.

You can not hit a player in the face.

You can not hit a player in the face.

Now, go take your juice box and sit down while we talk about this red card that should have been (and I’d bet money will be when the league sees that tape).

The ugly incident actually started a couple of minutes before, around the 42 minute mark. Ramires was in the box, and Willian (or Will.i.an to you) was just hanging out at Sunderland’s post. Waiting. Like a waiting thing.

Ramires whips around to head it toward the waiting Willian when he gets Larssoned. Which must be similar to getting hit by a tiny little freight train with a bad haircut and an oddly low center of gravity.

Which must suck.

Red card! Penalty kick! Scream the Chelsea fans.

No and no.

First of all, a red card would be for denial of goalscoring opportunity. Ramires was clearly not trying to score; the cross to Willian was leaving his head when Larsson clobbered him. Not going for goal = no clear goal scoring opportunity = no red.

And you know what else? It was a clean hit. A hard hit, but perfectly timed and with his shoulder to Ramires’ side and not his back. It was a fair challenge, and while I feel for anyone who gets Larssoned, Mike Dean was right not to react to it.

But Ramires did react.

A minute or two later, he was being chased by both Larsson and referee Dean, and he passed the ball off.

Then he turned, looked for where Larsson was, balled up his fist, reached up and hit Larsson in the face. He then slyly turned to see where Dean was. He knew exactly what he was doing:

Mike Dean on the other hand had no idea what he was doing. He was right there. But I guess he had turned his head to watch the ball and his linesmen were out of position. He appeared to tell a furious Larsson that he didn’t see it.

Let’s hope that stands, because if he didn’t, then the FA can (and likely will) take action. That’s at least a three match ban, and with the obviously deliberate and violent nature of it, it could be more.

Let’s say it again, kids:

You can not hit a player in the face.

Even Seb Larsson.

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