19/05/2024 58comments  |  Jump to last
Arsenal 2 - 1 Everton

In a season riven with controversy and scandalous treatment from the game’s authorities, it was perhaps fitting that Everton’s season should end with an outrageous decision from referee Michael Oliver that handed victory to title runners-up Arsenal.

Widely regarded as England’s best match official, the Northumberland native has proven to be anything but on a number of occasions when refereeing games involving the Toffees and he combined with Ashley Young to ruin what was shaping up to be an impressive draw at the Emirates.

Young’s brain-dead moment when he attempted an ill advised cross-field ball in his own half in the 89th minute was intercepted by Gabriel Jesus and Kai Havertz ended up converting the winner from close range but the goal should never have stood.

Jesus had clearly leant in with his arm to nudge the ball past his man, but, despite being sent to the pitch-side monitor by VAR Stuart Attwell, Oliver stood his ground and awarded the goal.

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It was harsh on Everton who had led through Idrissa Gueye’s deflected free-kick, been pegged back by Takehiro Tomiyasu’s leveller but were on course to shove Pep Guardiola’s disrespect back down his throat by getting a result against the Gunners and denying them a shot at stealing the Championship off Manchester City at the last.

As it was, City didn’t need any favours from the Blues but Arsenal needed yet more incompetence – or outright corruption, depending on your level of cynicism – from Oliver to ensure they ended their season with another win.

Sean Dyche, who wryly remarked afterwards on the handball controversy, “Funny how it is in a title race and it goes the other way,” had named his strongest side in a bid to extend his team’s unbeaten run to six games.

Veteran fullbacks Young and Seamus Coleman kept their places, Amadou Onana was paired with Gueye in central midfield and James Garner was deployed wide on the right in the absence of Jack Harrison but it took them a while to get a foothold in the game.

Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal overwhelmingly dominated the contest for the first 20-odd minutes and Tomiyasu had a shot charged down and a header that went wide before an uncharacteristic mistake by Jarrad Branthwaite, also attempting an ambitious pass in front of his own box, let Declan Rice in but Jordan Pickford made an excellent one-handed stop to keep it at 0-0.

The England man had to be alert either side of the quarter-hour mark, first when when Leandro Trossard’s attempt to volley a cross back into the danger area came off Coleman and Pickford flapped it behind and then when Gabriel Martinelli skinned Branthwaite for pace but was foiled by the keeper.

Despite having been largely in containment mode up to that point, Everton came within inches of taking the lead in the 32nd minute. Gueye had counter-attacked purposefully down the left channel and fed the striker who advanced towards the Gunners’ area before trying to place a shot inside David Raya’s near post.

Unfortunately, his effort came back off the upright and, off-balance following the shot, Calvert-Lewin could only prod the rebound into the side-netting.

An excellent block tackle by James Tarkowski at one end stopped Martinelli’s goal-bound shot while a foul on Dwight McNeil at the other handed the visitors a second direct free-kick in a dangerous area.

Calvert-Lewin had drilled the first into Gabriel’s head with the first after 17 minutes and on this occasion, Gueye’s shot also came off an Arsenal head but this time, the deflection off Rice took it wide of the wrong-footed Raya and flew into the other side of the goal to put Everton ahead.

Sadly, the lead lasted little more than three minutes as Arteta’s men responded and when Martin Ødegaard got to the byline and cut the ball back towards the top of the box. Tomiyasu arrived untracked to sweep the ball home and equalise a minute before the regulation 45 were up.

Buoyed by word of Mohammed Kudus’s spectacular goal at the Etihad that cut City’s lead to 2-1, Arsenal pressed for a half-time lead but Thomas Partey lashed over the bar with a similar chance to Tomiyasu’s deep into added time.

Everton remained obdurate after the interval, restricting the hosts to just a wayward Havertz header within the first quarter of an hour of the restart. Meanwhile, the Blues’ best moments in the game overall came in transition but all too often they were wasteful.

Calvert-Lewin had the best chance after 62 minutes when a received the ball in the box at the end of another good counter-attack but Raya plucked his curling shot out of the air.

On another breakaway, Gueye failed to release Abdoulaye Doucouré with a through-ball that could have put him on goal and later, substitute Youssef Chermiti would squander a gilt-edged four-on-two counter by also not finding Doucouré in space off the defenders.

In between, Arsenal had gone close when a mix-up between Pickford and Branthwaite pressed the keeper into batting the ball awkwardly behind, Havertz hit the post with a good header off a Martinelli cross, Emil Smith Rowe clipped the crossbar with a bouncing half-volley and Branthwaite diverted Jesus’ effort just wide with his head as it was searching out the far corner of the goal.

The game was settled a couple of minutes later, however, when Young ruined all of his team-mates good defensive work to that point with a shocking pass and Jesus was able to find Ødegaard in the area. The Norwegian scuffed it on past Pickford into the path of Havertz who had the simple task of rapping it home from close range.

Oliver could have restored justice on the advice of Attwell but in a rare instance of a referee not reversing the on-field decision after being sent to the monitor, he allowed the goal to stand.

Despite the defeat, Everton held on to 15th spot by virtue of Brentford’s home defeat to Newcastle, avoiding relegation by a 14-point margin. Without the deduction of eight points by the Premier League, whose CEO, Richard Masters, was in attendance at the Emirates to hear chants of “You can shove your points deduction up your arse!” from the away supporters, Dyche’s side would have finished in 12th, level on points with much-lauded Brighton.

Thoughts will inevitably turn towards the chaos and uncertainty off the pitch and a difficult summer in the transfer market but, on the pitch in 2023-24, Dyche, his staff and his players certainly got the job done.


Reader Comments (58)

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Mal van Schaick
1 Posted 19/05/2024 at 21:08:31
If I were Everton and Dyche, I would not let that decision drop and challenge the head of referees. It is a blatant hand ball, where he move his arm to the ball.

With next season in mind, there has to be retrospective challenges, in the interest of fairness in the game. The club who benefit from a wrong decision, just have to put up with it.

Oliver, should be stood down for a game and made to apologise and explain his decision that smacks of bias.

Mike Hayes
2 Posted 19/05/2024 at 21:11:40
For me we were robbed so as I saw it it was a draw - feck Oliver he’s a no mark ref who should be reduced down to pub league games it’s all he’s fit for biased bastard 😡😡
Brian Wilkinson
3 Posted 19/05/2024 at 21:31:18
With City already having the title won, Dyche should have hooked his team off and said stick your three points up your arse, make a complete show of the ref, took the fine but show the Premier league up and make it a big talking point.

Some might think throwing toys out of a pram, but could you imagine the stink it would have kicked up and make a complete mockery of the so called best league in the world.

Neil Lawson
4 Posted 19/05/2024 at 22:17:12
I haven't heard the comments made by Dyche so I rely upon what Lyndon reports. If that is the most of his criticism then it is very disappointing. Given the battering we have had from the P.L. this year it was a perfect opportunity to speak in words of 1 syllable and be openly critical and questioning. I agree with comments above that the club must come out fighting first thing tomorrow. It was a truly disgraceful decision which many may also view as corrupt.
Tony Abrahams
5 Posted 19/05/2024 at 22:17:36
It’s all to familiar with Oliver and Everton, and would be easy for the club to prove this theory, if they wanted to highlight it to the authorities, imo.
Eric Haworth
6 Posted 19/05/2024 at 22:36:17
Oliver’s officiating was shameful. His failure to penalise a clear handball that was designed to gain an advantage and led to a goal, was just the tip of the iceberg. He purposefully delayed Tarkowski’s return to play after his treatment for injury while we were under extreme pressure, giving Arsenal a clear advantage, which led directly to their first goal, because Tarkowski was only a millisecond from blocking Tomiyasu’s shot immediately upon his reintroduction. Add to this that both Rice & Partey ‘s single yellow cards should’ve been at least double that for their persistent cynical fouling throughout the game. Like I said, knowingly shameful, which’ll have gone down well with the onlooking Masters.
Ian Riley
7 Posted 19/05/2024 at 23:07:27
Absolutely 100% pointless in complaining. It won't change a thing.
John Raftery
8 Posted 19/05/2024 at 23:27:00
Correct, Ian. The club should instead vote with Wolves to scrap VAR. It has not improved decision making and has ruined the game. As a club we will never receive a net benefit from it. The clubs at the top of the table will of course continue to do so. That’s why unsurprisingly they will vote to keep it.
Svein-Roger Jensen
9 Posted 20/05/2024 at 00:25:40
VAR is used to protect the favourites
Si Cooper
10 Posted 20/05/2024 at 00:45:27
John (8), why are you targeting VAR when it was actually used appropriately but their recommendation to review the handball with the obvious intent of having the goal denied was shamelessly disregarded by the on-field referee.
Scrapping VAR won’t stop biased refereeing.
Jack Convery
11 Posted 20/05/2024 at 00:51:01
Alan Know Sod All Shearer thought it a good decision. Can't wait for the next handball goal to go against his barcodes nexr season. As Lineker said if it was done in the penalty area it's handball. Nob ref Nob pundit.
Mike Gaynes
12 Posted 20/05/2024 at 04:43:57
"Oliver could have restored justice..."?

Don't you mean he could have saved us from a massive defensive error?

Let me offer a thought... and here goes Gaynes the ref pontificating again... but referees hate, absolutely hate, being put in a position of bailing out a player's fuckup with our whistles.

Oliver as a world-class official should of course be free of such prejudices, and he definitely erred by not calling the handball, but the fact that Young had fucked up so spectacularly may well have subconsciously weighed ever so slightly on his decision.

I would almost guess that if the ball had been played to Jesus by a teammate instead of our 500-game veteran fullback, Oliver would have called the handball.

But the fact is... Oliver didn't give them the goal. Young did. Oliver could have saved his sorry ass from an idiotic, game-losing error. He chose not to.

Bias? Yeah, maybe, subconsciously. But IMO the guy who owes an apology for this loss isn't the ref. Outside of Seamus's own goal, this was the worst defensive blunder of the season.

Jim Bennings
13 Posted 20/05/2024 at 05:56:19
We know full well why the late Arsenal goal stood.

They couldn't upset the narrative of both Man City and Arsenal winning, if West Ham had scored a late second to make it real interesting for the global market, then Arsenal only drawing would have disappointed everyone.

They tried to make the last day out to be a race but City were never going to botch up.

Sad but football now is purely bent, VAR is just hammering home how bent it really is.

Pete Clarke
14 Posted 20/05/2024 at 06:03:44
Every player at some stage makes mistakes but for the best part they are not punished so I don't see the need to rub it in to Ashley Cole.

Facts are facts and it was blatant biased officiating. VAR are just as bad because they should have said to him that it was handball and to disallow the goal. They tell refs if the ball is over the line or not.

The big pity is that the goal didn't win the league for Arsenal and we could then have had Pep taking on the EPL, VAR, Oliver and all the prick commentators who thought the ref got it right.

Still hope Dyche does the same.
I'm already sick of City in the same way I felt about their Manc cousins when they were winning it all. Can't wait for Pep to fuck off and, now that Klopp’s gone, we may have a more even playing field.

Ian Jones
15 Posted 20/05/2024 at 06:06:22
Mike, can see your logic re refs and players blunders.

But I think you can add another contender for blunder of the season when Ashley forgot which team he was playing for when he threw the ball direct to a Villa player.

Jim Bennings
16 Posted 20/05/2024 at 06:30:48
A clear reason also why this season Champions League Final brings me comfort.

Not a single English team in plain sight.

Why the hell would any of us want any English side to prosper in Europe when all season we've had the media love-in with the corruption and levels of cheating on the pitch to gain advantages?

As far as I'm concerned, they can all fail every season in Europe.

Duncan McDine
17 Posted 20/05/2024 at 06:36:16
Strangely enough, the highlights on Sky don't even show the goal being "checked".

Premier League CAF

Pete Neilson
18 Posted 20/05/2024 at 07:47:32
Terrible refereeing probably to keep the contrived last day title tension going (was there any?).

Summed up the ineptitude of Premier League officials both on and off the pitch this season.

Jim Bennings
19 Posted 20/05/2024 at 08:05:54
It probably is high time now to replace these officials with ones from overseas.

It can't be any worse, it just feels like what we've got offer here now isn't fit for purpose and they have proven to be completely stained in biased wool.

Rob Jones
20 Posted 20/05/2024 at 09:08:41
Mike, Ashley Young's fuck-up, while irritating, is irrelevant compared to a referee blatantly ignoring a handball which led to a goal.
Brian Harrison
21 Posted 20/05/2024 at 09:12:55
What a massive disappointment to lose in the last few minutes. Only Ashley Young would know why he attempted such a suicidal pass when he had options to pass back to Branthwaite or Pickford or just play it down the line.

We can argue all we like about Oliver's decision, we know he doesn't do us any favours. Maybe it’s the fact that he is a Geordie and since Pickford joined us they all seem to hate us. But Young should never have made that pass, it’s as simple as that.

So we lost because of our bad play, and the Oliver decision was avoidable.

Andrew Clare
22 Posted 20/05/2024 at 09:41:26
When VAR is applied the decision shouldn't go back to the referee. The VAR panel should make the final decision.
Laurie Hartley
23 Posted 20/05/2024 at 09:44:07
Brian # 21 - I disagree. We lost because the referee allowed play to carry on after a dead set handball by the Arsenal player (who I have deliberately not named).

If he had had have called the handball we would have been given a free kick.

Alastair Donaldson
24 Posted 20/05/2024 at 09:52:59
It was a suicidal pass, but the interpretation of the handball rule and VAR intervention/inconsistency is the obviously most glaring problem.

If we'd had a goal chalked off for that, we'd also be angry.. the Premier League and referees have dug themselves into such a deep hole here; I'd prefer they simplify/clarify the handball rule and tattoo it onto all the refs and VARs foreheads... well maybe not, but there have been a lot of issues with this one. Young of course "got away" with one amongst his other blunders against Forest. Swings and roundabouts. Thankfully he's re-signed for next year!?!

The Premier League are claiming the accuracy of decisions has gone up to over 90%, so unless they've engineered that stat (quite likely), generally it has improved things.

Anyhow, I'm just waiting for the £300k fine for yet another pitch invasion at Man City to be announced... yeah right.

At least this dreadful season is finished and we have financial armageddon, further points deductions and an off-season fire sale to look forward to.


Neil Lawson
28 Posted 20/05/2024 at 11:23:50
It was the clearest and most obvious handball with a very deliberate movement of the arm to the ball. All the sad, deluded, overpaid and arrogant pundits who try to justify the decision should be given their P45 instantly.

Dyche should have decried it openly. We should not be wasting our time talking about the nuances of the decision and the merits or otherwise of the handball rule and VAR. It was a deliberate and clear handball. A foul. End of.

Danny O’Neill
29 Posted 20/05/2024 at 11:57:02
It was handball, no argument for me.

Like Alan Hansen's in the penalty box at Wembley in the 1984 League Cup Final.

Then again, our very then own Kevin Richardson's scoop off the line against Villa at Goodison was special!!!

Tom Bowers
30 Posted 20/05/2024 at 12:27:25
A foul is a foul and Everton ran afoul of VAR and the referee. What else is new.

Thank God we didn't need the points like the last game of last season.

We arguably finished 12th in the table but got robbed there also.

Alarmingly, we only scored 40 goals which was only 5 better than relegated Sheffield Utd. That statistic alone tells you what next season will be like without new offensive changes being implemented.

Jim Bennings
31 Posted 20/05/2024 at 13:17:23

I reckon it's testament to the defence how we got so many points despite such a paltry goal return.

Whether or not the defence may be quite as stout if the magnificent Jarrad Branthwaite leaves and we will have to find out but having two imperative central defenders has improved us immensely this season witnout the haphazard errors of years gone by from the likes of Holgate and Keane.

Branthwaite will be a huge loss if he goes and Tarkowski will miss his presence and assuredness also.

I don't think there's any doubt though that we need far more going forward. The fact we only put one past Luton and Sheffield Utd who get smashed by most sides suggests as much.

Karl Meighan
32 Posted 20/05/2024 at 14:21:41
What pleased me yesterday despite the defeat which was not what we deserved. The performance at the game at Goodison may have been one-nill but was men against boys and we never got near them.

Yesterday, we looked strong and more powerful than a very good Arsenal team. Not always what we enjoy watching, great skill and creativity is always prefered but still needed if anything is to be achieved.

If and when players are lost it's good signs as the work ethic can be replicated. Skill is not as easy to find but, during the poor run, the players showed the attitude many of us questioned and that starts with the manager.

We may not have the best players but give us that every match and it will be another 50-odd years before we're relegated.

Michael Connelly
33 Posted 20/05/2024 at 14:23:26
Havin watched the replay, the ball more bounces up onto Jesus's arm, as he is running onto it, as opposed to him moving his arm towards the ball.

It would be hard to term that 'deliberate' in my view.

Neil Lawson
34 Posted 20/05/2024 at 14:27:56
Michael 33.
Your choice.
P45 or Specsavers?
Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
35 Posted 20/05/2024 at 15:09:25
Karl - it is already over 70. I should know. They were promoted in the May and I was born the following November.
Jack Convery
36 Posted 20/05/2024 at 15:31:29
I wonder if Arsenal had scored that goal v Newcastle would Shearer have still said it was not handball and more refs should do what Oliver did.

The game is bent and anyone who thinks otherwise is living on another planet.

I cannot believe we are giving Young another contract. £83k a month ! Raise the money to buy / loan / free transfer in two full backs by selling Patterson and Holgate because Dyche will not play either of them next season.

Mike Gaynes
37 Posted 20/05/2024 at 16:05:18
Ian #15, yep, that was a good one too. And as Alistair points out, he had an interesting moment or two against Forest as well, although I do not blame him for being overpowered by a guy twice his size.

Rob #20, if Young doesn't make the dumbest play possible, the ball never gets within 40 yards of Jesus' arm.

In some players, being "past it" shows up in their legs. In some, it shows up in their minds -- they lose focus and concentration. That's what has happened to Young IMO. And while I understand the decision to extend his contract -- given our desperate straits -- I think it is a decision we will regret again next year. Often.

Jim Bennings
38 Posted 20/05/2024 at 16:46:53
I do actually think Young had been doing relatively ok in recent weeks but he's always prone to these madcap moments.

You can see exactly what he is regardless of the age, a flying winger back in the day that's been morphed into a fullback.

Defensively he's always suspect.

Ian Bennett
39 Posted 20/05/2024 at 16:54:08
Dermot Gallagher pretty much agrees either every Var decision against Everton.

David Currie
40 Posted 20/05/2024 at 17:08:30
Jim 38, Agree and I don't think he should be getting a new deal. He has made too many defensive errors over the season.
Rob Halligan
41 Posted 20/05/2024 at 17:19:05
Mike, we all know that if Young doesn’t make the pass, then Jesus doesn’t get the ball, but he did make the pass, and Jesus did get the ball, illegally, and Michael Oliver made a ridiculous decision in upholding his own decision to allow the goal.
Rob Halligan
42 Posted 20/05/2024 at 17:32:30
Sorry, that should probably read making a ridiculous decision in not upholding the VAR, who recommended a possible handball in the lead up to the goal.
Mike Gaynes
43 Posted 20/05/2024 at 17:41:59
Yep, Rob... no argument. Oliver was totally wrong.

I just believe that the decision to make that moronic pass in minute 89 of a tied game was astronomically more ridiculous than the decision not to bail out our choking idiot fullback with a handball call.

Who is more culpable? In my view, Young. No contest.

Michael Connelly
44 Posted 20/05/2024 at 17:56:08
Michael Oliver deciding it wasn't deliberate at the time, and Dermot Gallagher on Sky agreeing that it wasn't deliberate.

Yet, on here there is 'no argument' that is handball.
I won't bother arguing, if there's no argument.

I should probably just put the blue tinted glasses back on

John Keating
45 Posted 20/05/2024 at 18:10:43
Michael handball does not have to be “deliberate”
Look at the pen given against Onana
That was not deliberate in any way shape or form but because his arm was in an, in their opinion, not in a natural position, it was given.
Never mind he was sliding in and a foot away! The ref reckoned we gained an advantage.
Jesus leaned into the ball, he gained an advantage.
Even Gallagher admitted some refs would have given handball.
Unfortunately for us it was Oliver
Michael Connelly
46 Posted 20/05/2024 at 18:21:35
John, handball has to be deliberate if you arm is down by your side.
Jay Harris
47 Posted 20/05/2024 at 18:50:45
Michael his arm is down by his side but he leans into the ball to steer it around the defender with the lower part of his arm and gained an advantage from which they scored.
Crazy pass by Young but unquestionably hand ball by Jesus.
Christine Foster
48 Posted 20/05/2024 at 19:34:19
Let it go lads, let's face it, he knew what he was doing, he intentionally positioned his body to manipulate the ball past the defender. It struck his arm rather than just his body. The movement was intentional. End of.
Everton deserved better but it clearly showed why VAR has failed, not because of the technology but because of interpretation by officials. All its done is added another layer of opinion not clarity.
Michael Connelly
49 Posted 20/05/2024 at 19:46:49
Jay, think his movement is to lean away from Tarkowski coming onto him rather than deliberately steer the ball around him. I can see why it wasn't given.
Rob Jones
50 Posted 20/05/2024 at 19:49:24
It doesn't matter if it's "deliberate" or not (and by the way, he moved his arm). It matters that it led to a goal. If it had happened in the box, it's ruled out. The fact it was earlier in the play doesn't erase that.

If wanting fair play means I'm wearing "blue tinted glasses", then fine, I'll fucking well wear them.

Anthony O’Sullivan
51 Posted 20/05/2024 at 21:50:31
In the dark moments were we went 13 games without a win Dyche did say to judge him over the full season.

Baring that poor handball decision we should have had a point from the weekend and (ignoring goal difference) we rightfully should have been joint 10th if not for the points deduction.

How he managed to pick the team up time and time again after the shameful treatment from the powers that be and get them back playing is incredible.

If anyone at the start of last season was offered "less attractive football" but we would finish mid table and beat Liverpool no one would complain.

Si Cooper
52 Posted 21/05/2024 at 01:10:08
Mike G, I usually agree with your posts but your ‘argument' on this occasion is ludicrous.

Players never get the option of somehow retracting their mistakes, but VAR gives referees exactly that opportunity.

Young's pass was dumb but Oliver's ignoring a clear handball (which presumably the VAR thought it was as many pundits do) really is dumber.

Michael C, his arm is the part of the body he is leading with, and the only thing that makes contact and steers the ball past Tarkowski. You just aren't supposed to be able to use your arms that way on a football pitch unless you are a goalie in his box.

Karl Meighan
53 Posted 21/05/2024 at 09:40:59
Michael@49 deliberate or not Arsenal gained a advantage from it. "This more refs should do what Oliver did" makes no sense, isn't that what var is for, the ref makes a mistake var tells him to change it, Otherwise why is it used?
Kevin Edward
54 Posted 21/05/2024 at 11:46:58
Oliver was true to form but the opportunity for him to shaft us presented itself, and it was an avoidable error by Young (to say the least) so self-inflicted.

We'll never know, but most likely Arsenal would have been awarded a 98th minute penalty anyway, such was the strong stench of fish coming from the direction of Mr Oliver.

I'm not letting it spoil the pride in our battle this season, not many clubs and fans would have faced up to the shower of shite thrown at us over the last 2/3 years, many would have folded before now.

Whatever is around the corner (or no matter how many wheels are left on Mosh's EFC clown car) a big UTFT from me.

Well done. Dyche; well done, players; well done, match-going fans; well done, Lyndon and Michael; well done ToffeeWebbers.

Billy Shears
55 Posted 21/05/2024 at 17:42:09
The answer is very simple to unfair treatment and dodgy ref's... just walk off the pitch... game over!

The bigger the game,the bigger the impact,other teams would follow our lead.

Another Everton first!... greatest league in the world?... really!... The team that won it still face 115 charges of P&S rules,the promoted teams all went back down,handball rule is a farce,the offside rule is still pathetic as play goes on thus players still risk injury and most fans seem to hate VAR and the time it takes too and simply takes that explosive joy that comes from your lads hitting the back of the net.

On top of all that,the pointless F.A are still trying to ruin the most beautiful Cup competition the world has ever seen...the fans need to find their voice and simply must fight back to end this fucking madness or the game will soon be gone for good!!

Jerome Shields
56 Posted 25/05/2024 at 07:33:42
The only one who thinks 777 Partners will happen at this stage is Moshiri and he hasn"t done any due diligence.

He has taken over £200 million in loans off them which probably are conditional on the purchase being completed.

Tony Abrahams
57 Posted 25/05/2024 at 08:56:11
That article in the Financial Times is revealing if there is any real truth in it, Jerome.

The Oligarch has met some chancers since he decided to purchase Everton. He must fucking hate us.

Christine Foster
58 Posted 25/05/2024 at 23:12:33
I see the KMI panel yesterday backed Oliver's decision on the Jesus handball, stating his arm was tucked in and the handball was not deliberate. No mention that he leaned his body into the ball to deflect its path...

I can see coaching now underway of how to "lean your body into the path of a ball" using arms if you can.

Ridiculous… he knew exactly what he did... so did the league. In context as the league title could have been riding on it, it was a justifiable error that promoted the Premier League. But can you imagine if Man City had lost the league to Arsenal on that goal?

Tony Abrahams
59 Posted 26/05/2024 at 08:19:38
I keep saying it, Christine, but most of these decisions are completely subjective.

If we are to keep VAR, then let these referees speak so they can build up a consistency with regards their subjectively.

Rob Jones
60 Posted 26/05/2024 at 10:18:30
The Key Match Incidents panel are so desperate to protect VAR and retain it that they've somehow decided that the Jesus decision wasn't an error. Wow!!
Ian Bennett
61 Posted 26/05/2024 at 10:57:12
As I say, VAR isn't there to find the right decision, it's there to find a reason to bail out the moneyed teams when needed.

We all know the decisions that go against us invariably wouldn't if it was a big team.

Unconscious bias, pressure not to look stupid, or just plain £bent...

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