Another Merseyside derby is over and Everton again have nothing to show for it after being defeated 2-0 by Liverpool at Anfield with controversial decisions once again playing their part.
First of all let’s get this out of the way and say that in truth, the Toffees didn’t do enough to win the game because they were set up to defend and try and get a point and failed to create chances.
However, Everton were looking pretty solid and comfortable and their counter-attacking gameplan was working well enough before the referee stepped in to change it.
In fact, the visitors had the best early chance with Dominic Calvert-Lewin having a header he should perhaps have scored from.
Liverpool had much more of the ball, as expected, but they hadn’t really threatened in the first half and then Ashley Young stupidly went in for a challenge when he was already on a yellow card for an earlier foul.
Predictably, Craig Pawson a referee the Blues never have any change from, brandished another card and Young was off.
His decision was you could argue technicallly by the book and Young was an idiot to go in so rashly for the second challenge, but as we all know that there was never going to be any leeway given.
And of course later in the match when an identical situation unfolded Pawson surprise, surprise reacted differently and didn’t apply the letter of the law leaving Konate on the pitch.
To top it all off he then booked the Blues boss for his reaction! It is so tiresome to see such skewed officiating time and time again.
So, are we going to see a media campaign for a replay like we saw after the Spurs v Liverpool controversy a few weeks ago!?
Having said all this, I think Sean Dyche again also made the wrong decisions during the game when it counted.
Young should have been substituted after his first card and I would anyway have started with Nathan Patterson not a 38-year-old with a dodgy disciplinary record.
Then the manager also brought on Micheal Keane who is just a walking disaster waiting to happen every time he plays.
And, it was inevitably Keane who stuck his arm out and the ball struck it with a penalty absolutely certain to be given, as it was.
I don’t think it was the wrong decision and a penalty was fair enough but of course once Mohamed Salah had stepped up and scored it, that was the game over. The home side added a second very late on and took the points once more.
I wanted Dyche to try and be more positive today in an intelligent manner than has been the case recently, and when Everton did get into attacking positions or threaten from set-pieces (not too often it’s true) they looked dangerous.
The whole gameplan though was clearly to try and get a point and while I can see why that would be the approach, one of these days we are going to have to try and win some away matches and not just attempt to avoid defeat.
Well another derby at Anfield is thankfully behind us and the Toffees can try and move on from all the nonsense.