After the unfortunate loss to Tottenham Hotspur last week, Manchester City have been looking over their shoulders as Liverpool inch closer to the leaders.
On Saturday, Pep Guardiola’s side were desperate to clinch the three points at Goodison Park to maintain their lead. And so they did, as a moment’s hesitation from the otherwise brilliant Jordan Pickford led Phil Foden to step the ball into the net with 10 minutes on the clock.
With Everton’s continued dominance over City in the game, it was plausible that the Merseyside side could net an equalizer. The opportunity came as City fullback Rodri appeared to control the ball with his hand, with the Frank Lampard’s players shouting for a penalty.
The 25-year-old had stuck out his arm while taking control of the ball, which looked like a clear handball. However, upon reviews, VAR Chris Kavanagh and on-pitch referee Paul Tierney controversially denied Everton the chance to score from 12 yards.
Everton manager Frank Lampard did not hold back his frustration with Kavanagh as he mentioned that even his “3-year-old daughter could tell that it was a penalty.”
“Go to VAR, they have two minutes to look at it and to think they have not given that as a penalty when it strikes him on the arm, in an unnatural position?” the Toffees boss said to Sky Sports.
“Even if the VAR says not sure, then go have a look. It is incompetence at best, if not that, then someone needs to explain what it is.”
Social media erupted with reactions against the incorrect decision made by the refereeing authorities, with pictures surfacing to seal the argument further.
This apparently wasn’t handball by Rodri. I give up with this elitist refereeing pic.twitter.com/8MBJomPwtk— Tom Rawle (@trawle91) February 26, 2022
That’s a ridiculous decision. It should be a penalty to Everton and why Paul Tierney hasn’t been asked to go to check his monitor is mystifying. If they say below the t-shirt line is handball, then that was handball by Rodri, plain and simple.— Dominic King (@DominicKing_DM) February 26, 2022
I’ve watched the Rodri handball 10x— C h e l c e e G r i m e s (@ChelceeGrimes) February 26, 2022
First look it was 100% pen, on tenth look it’s 110% a pen.
Premier League has reportedly clarified that there was no conclusive evidence that the ball struck the illegal area of Rodri’s arm.
Richarlison appeared to be offside during the build-up; however, the officiators didn’t consider that a factor during the decision-making.
Premier League clarify that the VAR team didn’t think there was conclusive evidence that the ball hit Rodri more in the red area of the arm than the green. Nothing to do with offside pic.twitter.com/h6QhS6SEaW— Simon Bajkowski (@spbajko) February 26, 2022
Lampard’s rival counterpart Pep Guardiola emphasized that he had believed that the decision was related to Richarlison’s offside position.
“It was offside,” he said. “There was VAR, and the action was offside. I didn’t see the image.”
🗣 | Pep Guardiola when a @SkySports’s reporter questioned his take on the proposed Rodri handball:— City Chief (@City_Chief) February 26, 2022
"It was offside. Your seats were not good."
The win at Goodison Park helped City move six points ahead of Liverpool, who still have a game at hand. Everton, meanwhile, still struggle to steer clear from the relegation zone.