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Mike Dean praised for 'quick-thinking' in Birmingham-Aston Villa incident

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Referee Mike Dean has been praised for his 'quick-thinking' by the referee’s association for denying Birmingham City the opportunity to score against Aston Villa

Referee Mike Dean has been praised for his "quick-thinking" and "sensible game management" by the referees' association for denying Birmingham City the opportunity to score while Aston Villa players were celebrating in Sunday's second city derby.

Birmingham's players looked to take a quick restart after Gary Gardner gave Villa the lead in the first half, with the majority of Villa players, including goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini, celebrating in the corner of the pitch in front of the away fans at St Andrews.

Having initially walked towards his team-mates to celebrate, Villa's Mile Jedinak turned back into Birmingham's half, meaning the hosts could not take a quick restart legally.

Aston Villa's Gary Gardner celebrates his goal against Birmingham
Image: Aston Villa's Gary Gardner celebrates his goal against Birmingham

But Sky Sports has uncovered pictures that show Jedinak was subtly instructed to walk into the Birmingham half by referee Mike Dean, an action which has been praised by PGMOL, the referees' association.

A PGMOL spokesman has told Sky Sports News: "Mike's actions were appropriate for the situation as it unfolded."

The spokesman added: "The match would not have been able to restart as there was a bottle on the pitch which needed to be removed before play could resume."

Birmingham, ENGLAND- October 30:  Pierluigi Gollini and Alan Hutton of Aston Villa celebrates with Gary Gardner after he scores during the Sky Bet Champion
Image: Ten of Villa's 11 players were celebrating in their own half as Birmingham looked to take a quick restart

We understand clubs adhere to an unwritten rule that play should not recommence until both sides are ready to play.

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Birmingham's intention to take a quick restart was clear as players attempted to push the Villa midfielder back over the halfway line in order to take the kick-off, but the Australian remained in the Birmingham half until his team-mates had concluded their celebrations.

FIFA's rules of the game state that all players must be in their own half of the field for a restart to be taken, and that the referee must give a signal. Jedinak would also be required to be outside of the centre circle in his own half.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 30:  Gary Rowett, manager of Birmingham City shouts at refereee Mike Dean during the Sky Bet Championship match between Birmi
Image: Gary Rowett (right) and referee Dean on Sunday

After Birmingham equalised in the second half through David Davis, Lukas Jutkiewicz walked deep into the Villa half to tie his laces, seemingly to prevent Villa from taking a quick restart themselves with his Birmingham team-mates celebrating in their own half.

The match ended 1-1 in the first meeting between the two sides at St Andrews since 2011. 

Watch the footage of the incident in the video above

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