It wasn’t just the Everton family who were left bemused late on during the Toffees draw with Manchester United at Goodison Park yesterday. Football fans everywhere were left scratching their heads once again as VAR only served to obfuscate the rules of the beautiful game instead of helping clear things up.
By now you will have heard every possible reason for why VAR not only disallowed Everton’s late winner but didn’t award a penalty either late on, from ‘Jon Moss needs better spectacles’ to ‘the Top Six fix was in’.
Carlo Ancelotti for the most part looks like a calm and venerable older gentleman when on the touchline, but even the 60-year-old wanted answers when referee Chris Kavanagh blew the final whistle. Kavanagh looked like he was indicating to Ancelotti to leave, who was heard to say that he was not leaving until he got an explanation for why the goal didn’t stand. Instead, the referee brandished the red card dismissively, saying “Off you go.”
The veteran manager wasn’t going to stand for that kind of behaviour, least of all at his own ground, and went to see the referee in his dressing room along with his captain Seamus Coleman.
“I ask for an explanation after the game. There was a misunderstanding on the pitch he sent me off. After that I spoke with him calmly in the dressing room. I want to keep the conversation private and he will make a report for the referee.
”I didn’t disrespect to him but I can understand the end of the game was really exciting. It can happen but we will see if I am banned.”
Regarding the red card itself, the Italian manager insisted that it was not deserved.
“It was not the first time and will not be the last. I never disrespect. It can happen. At the end of the game I was a little bit nervous and maybe the referee also.
“At the end of the game we spoke friendly. If I am banned I will be disappointed but the stand at Stamford Bridge is near the dugout, I will be close.”
Ancelotti did admit that it wasn’t the easiest judgement to make, but it was still clear for him.
“Honestly, it was a difficult decision. I think they check the position of Gylfi, that was offside.
”But in our opinion it didn’t affect the vision of the goalkeeper. In their opinion it affect the vision and the movement of the goalkeeper.
”My opinion is it’s a really difficult decision.”
While the Premier League table is not showing it with the Blue still in 11th place, Ancelotti is confident that a European push can still happen.
“Today we showed we are going to fight for Europe. We will have difficult games here but the fact we competed throughout will give us confidence and I am happy with how we played.”
Andre Gomes marked his first start since returning from his serious injury with a composed performance, while Dominic Calvert-Lewin continued his excellent form with another goal.
“Andre played well, he was smart and clever and step by step he will improve.
“Dominic also did really well, he played a fantastic game, not just with the goal. He was involved in a lot, he fought and played well.
“We were 1-0 up early and played more defensively in the first half. Second half was more open, we were attacking and created a lot of chances.
“We have to look forward with no complaints because the performance of the team was the most important thing.”