Referee Mike Dean was condemned by Swansea manager Michael Laudrup for his decision-making during a worrying extra-time incident in yesterday’s 1-0 Barclays Premier League defeat at Tottenham.
Laudrup was dismayed that Dean allowed Spurs to play on even though striker Michu had crashed to the pitch after taking a blow from the outstretched forearms of keeper Hugo Lloris, who was attempting to punch the ball clear.
Fearing the worst for the motionless Michu, those players nearby frantically signalled for medical assistance.
Dean failed to stop the game and Spurs continued with Andros Townsend almost adding a second to Jan Vertonghen’s 75th-minute winner, incensing defender Chico Flores who then shoved Townsend and confronted other home players.
“Fortunately Michu is okay. When I saw it I thought ’Oh hell, he is unconscious, you can’t fake a reaction like that’ – it isn’t like when someone kicks you, this is completely different,” Laudrup said.
“I was very angry and it wasn’t because it wasn’t a free-kick or a red card for Lloris or a penalty or whatever but we always talk about people, there is a debate, should we kick the ball out.
“It’s the same debate in every country – we have a referee and two linesmen so we just go on until the referee blows the whistle.
“But with possible head injuries like this one there is no doubt – you have all the linesmen and the referee and they are connected.
“I watched it again on television. When Michu is going down to the ground they let the game go on. It was such a poor decision, dangerous as well.”
Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas and substitute Jake Livermore ran from the dugout on to the pitch to calm matters with the latter receiving a booking for his actions.
“On the incident I was expecting the referee to stop the game immediately,” Villas-Boas said.
“It’s a difficult decision for Mike because Townsend is running through on goal, but the health of a player is more important.
“We were trying for the game to stop immediately and I think all of the mess came as a consequence of that.”
Belgian defender Vertonghen fired his first league goal for Spurs when he showed composure to stab a free-kick from Kyle Walker past Gerhard Tremmel.