Soccer

Marmite man Dean steals the show by handing out Christmas cards early

Marmite man Mike Dean steals the show in Aston Villa’s West Midlands derby victory over Wolverhampton after handing out his Christmas cards early with Douglas Luiz and Joao Moutinho both seeing red

  • Referee Mike Dean stole the show as Aston Villa ran out 1-0 winners vs Wolves
  • The Marmite official, who you either love or loathe, had one of those games
  • There were two red cards, 11 yellows, a stoppage-time penalty for the visitors
  • He sent off both Douglas Luiz and Joao Moutinho in the West Midlands derby 

A West Midlands derby victory for Aston Villa, sponsored by Mike Dean. The game’s most Marmite official, who you either love or loathe, had one of those games.

There were two red cards, 11 yellows, a stoppage-time penalty for the visitors and the most fouls called in a Premier League fixture this season.

The funny thing is, this wasn’t a particularly feisty affair, nowhere near a Battle of Stamford Bridge.

Marmite official Mike Dean stole the show as Aston Villa ran out 1-0 winners against Wolves

But Dean decided to dish out his Christmas cards early. In doing so, he handed out his 3,000th career yellow.

Villa boss Dean Smith will forgive Dean for his erratic performance because of their spot-kick, which was won by John McGinn and scored by Anwar El Ghazi.

McGinn, 26, did well to win the pivotal penalty, a day after signing a new contract until 2025.

It took Villa into the top half of the table on Saturday and the future is looking very bright for them. ‘He’s been exceptional since coming here,’ Smith said of McGinn, who joined the club from Hibernian in 2018. 

Dean dished out two red cards, 11 yellows, a stoppage-time penalty for the visitors at Molineux

‘He was our player of the season when we were promoted and started his first Premier League season excellently.

‘But then he had a bad injury. Now he’s showing what he is and what he’s about and he certainly warranted his new contract. We can build a bright future with him, Tyrone Mings, Jack Grealish, Ollie Watkins, Matty Cash and Emiliano Martinez.

‘They are all players who are a good age who can get better and better.’

Credit to Villa captain Grealish, too, for giving the penalty to substitute El Ghazi. The 25-year-old Dutchman buried his spot-kick, which was awarded in between the two red cards. 

Douglas Luiz was shown two yellows — one for an innocuous trip on Wolves’ Fabio Silva during a counter-attack, another for crashing into Daniel Podence with an elbow.

Anwar El Ghazi (centre) scored the result spot-kick to win all three points for Dean Smith’s men

Joao Moutinho was shown his first yellow for tripping Grealish and his second in stoppage time for bringing down teenager Jacob Ramsey, though replays seemed to show there was no contact.

That gives Wolves another problem, with manager Nuno Espirito Santo already trying to figure out how they will score goals without Raul Jimenez, who is recovering from his fractured skull. Nuno resisted the urge to go in two-footed on Dean, knowing that sort of talk would only earn him a Football Association fine.

It’s 3,000 down for Dean. Carry on carding like this and it won’t be long before he hits 4,000.




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