Gary Neville led the criticism of Mike Dean following the referee's decision to send off Sofiane Feghouli during Manchester United's 2-0 Premier League win at West Ham on Monday.
Feghouli was controversially dismissed for a late challenge on United defender Phil Jones after 15 minutes, with second-half goals from Juan Mata and Zlatan Ibrahimovic wrapping up victory for United against the 10 men.
Dean, who has awarded the most penalties and red cards in the Premier League this season, deliberated before sending off the winger and former United defender Neville suggested the angry reaction to Feghouli's tackle influenced the decision.
"I think the strange thing was, looking at the replay, when a referee knows it's a red card, I'm not quite sure why [Dean] looks behind him as if play is going to carry on," Neville said on Sky Sports.
"That says that he's not thinking straight about the challenge. I think it's the reaction maybe of the Manchester United players, the reaction of Phil Jones... Feghouli overruns the ball and dives in towards Phil Jones.
"They both lunge in towards each other, and Phil Jones comes off worse, maybe it's that reaction, but you look at Mike Dean... to me it's not a red card.
"[Dean] follows the play - I'm not quite sure why you would follow the play if you were intent on giving a red card straight away. It's a poor decision."
Former England internationals Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer were among those to hit out at Dean's decision on social media, with United's second goal also fortunate to stand, as Ibrahimovic and two other United players were offside.
That is an absurd red card. Ridiculous decision. Mike Dean has dropped a real Feghouli.January 2, 2017
Another howler from a referee! January 2, 2017
Best league in the world but refereeing standards don't match up. Sort your men out January 2, 2017
Mike Dean is finished! So so so bad! He gets worse and worse every week. Take the whistle from him please!January 2, 2017
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