Everton v Manchester City Review: five talking points

Everton (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images) /
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A battling and resolute Everton display against Manchester City was superseded by a controversial refereeing decision at Goodison Park on Saturday.

While Evertonians would not have expected to get anything from the game in reality, in the end they felt cheated and quite rightly so after possibly the worst refereeing decision seen since VAR has been in operation.

Both sides made one change from their last Premier League match, Everton bringing in the returning Abdoulaye Doucoure for the injured Dominic Calvert-Lewin while City brought in ex-Everton defender John Stones for Kyle Walker.

In a very competitive first half Everton actually had the better final third percentage action zone stats in City’s half and arguably had the better chances. Richarlison denied by Ederson and JonJoe Kenny slicing his left foot shot into the side netting. Jordon Pickford only had a simple save from Kevin De Bruyne from distance to really test him.

In the second half Everton couldn’t keep up the intense press and as expected City got on top. However good defending and a few good saves from Pickford seemed like it would keep the champions and league leaders at bay.

Then with eight minutes to go a deflected Bernardo Silva cross wrong footed Michael Keane which allowed Phil Foden to pounce and poke the ball past Pickford from literally two yards.

However that was not the end of the key incidents and what happened next will be talked about more than Foden’s goal.

Inexplicably Rodri controlled the ball with his arm when it bounced up in the City penalty area. Understandably the on field referee Paul Tierney did not have a clear view so VAR investigated. We will investigate what happened next on the following page in detail.

Also we will look at Everton’s stout rear guard action in that second half especially, how the midfield three made Everton more compact and link play far more efficiently, ask is Richarlison a better central striker option than Calvert-Lewin at the moment and have a look at which changes Frank Lampard may make for the FA Cup 5th Round tie with Boreham Wood on Thursday.