Everton v Manchester City Review: five talking points

Everton (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images) /
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Everton (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images) /

How VAR cost Everton the chance of a point and questions have to be asked of PGMOL

1. Incompetence of officials has gone too far

Many times this season, and last, we always know when the on field referee goes to the screen the decision will be overturned that they made originally on instruction from VAR. We definitely know this now as on Saturday night Chris Kavanagh, the VAR official, declined to tell Paul Tierney to go to the screen with four minutes remaining of this Premier League clash.

Rodri, the City defensive midfielder, had mis-read where the ball had bounced, and probably due to the fact him and his teammates had been harried and harassed all evening by the Everton players, stuck his arm out to assist him to control the ball.

The Glawdys Street knew it, the Everton players knew it, social media knew it, the watching public knew it and the look on Tierney’s face kind of meant I think he knew that VAR would look closely at least on this incident.

Kavanagh has previous with Everton over the last couple of seasons, as it shows in the below tweet, most recently Evertonians will remember his letting VAR make the decision to overrule his penalty ruling against Spurs in November.

The fact that two angles showed the ball clearly striking Rodri’s arm means football fans are calling the refereeing and VAR officiating as incompetent, inconsistent and favouring the bigger clubs.

The body in control of referees the PGMOL have a number of questions to answer after this, and many others, incident has been called ridiculous and disgraceful by the national media after the match including on Match of the Day that evening.

After every Premier League match they give you a review of key decisions and they have stated no other incident, like offside which had been mentioned, took place which means the only reason the penalty was not given was Kavanagh’s view. Bear in mind he is from South Manchester so again the integrity of the officials are called into question.

While VAR has been brought in to assist referees control the key incidents, it now seems and has done for sometime, that VAR actually controls these decisions not the on field officials.

Lampard did not hold back in his post-match press conference and even implied his three-year-old daughter would have given the handball as it was that obvious. With condemnation of the non-decision from VAR it will be interesting to see what the PGMOL and the Premier League say on Monday. Lampard may well get slapped with a caution, but I don’t think it will be too heavy as they must recognise the mistake made.

On Monday morning Everton made an official complaint to the Premier League over this decision and others they have felt aggrieved about this season.

This summer must see a major overhaul of the VAR system in terms of compliance and communication. Other sports like cricket and rugby union let fans watching on TV hear what the officials are saying when going to video replays, football and the Premier League seem to want to cover this up.

After this incompetent decision at Goodison Park, many will have suspicious minds over the way the refereeing system is managed and how such a clear and obvious error has been made once again.