Stoke City boss Mark Hughes suggested Mike Dean enjoys the attention of being a referee following his side’s 4-1 defeat to Manchester City.
Pep Guardiola’s side made it two wins from two in the Premier League on Saturday after a game in which three penalty calls caught the headlines.
Sergio Aguero opened the scoring from the spot after Ryan Shawcross was penalised for holding the arm of Nicolas Otamendi, and Stoke had first-half penalty appeals of their own turned down when Aleksandar Kolarov bundled over Joe Allen.
Aguero doubled City’s lead before Dean awarded another spot-kick, this time for Stoke, after adjudging Raheem Sterling had blocked Shawcross’ run towards a high ball.
Bojan Krkic scored but City went on to seal the win through two late goals from substitute Nolito.
Hughes felt the decisions came at crucial moments in the match and wants the Premier League to ensure that the application of any changes to the rules is enforced throughout the season.
“The scoreline wasn’t a fair reflection of our efforts,” he said. “In the first half we did fine and were asking questions, disrupting what they wanted to do.
“Unfortunately we had the penalty at a key moment when I felt we were in the ascendancy, and it knocked us sideways.
“We know the directives this year. This time last year a penalty wouldn’t have been given, but we knew there’s a danger it might be. Let’s hope Mike Dean referees in the same manner every time.
“My experience is that there’s a little bit of a purge for three or four weeks and then everybody reverts to type. As long as it’s consistent, from this game to the end of the season, I haven’t got a problem with it. But I rather doubt that will be the case.
“We benefited from an award in the second half but you’re never quite sure which referee is going to interpret the same things. Mike Dean is a more high-profile one, so maybe he enjoys that centre of attention, possibly.
“Second half we did okay, we conceded the second goal through the guys not doing their jobs correctly. When free-kicks come in you shouldn’t allow a player of the ability of Aguero to get between players and get his head on the ball
“Two-nil was a little harsh on us, especially as we should have had a penalty in the first half against Joe Allen. It was a clear penalty, the assistant referee should have had a clear view. But the third goal completely deflated us.
“There were elements I was pleased with and others to work on. Overall, the scoreline was a little bit flattering for City but they’re a good side, they’ll run the league title very, very close. We need to be better next time we face them.”