Everton looked to have been denied a clear penalty late on in their home game against Manchester City when Rodri handled the ball in the area soon after the visitors had taken a fortuitous lead. However, a loud Goodison Park watched on aghast as first the referee Paul Tierney pretended he didn’t see the ball being handled even though nearly 40,000 fans saw it, and then mysteriously upon VAR review the penalty was still not given.
Tierney appeared to indicate that Richarlison was offside in the build-up to the goal, even though he did not look to be so, and there was no VAR review conducted into whether he was on or not. After the final whistle, reports indicate that the Premier League clarified that the penalty had not been given because — believe it or not — the ball had not hit enough of the player’s arm below the t-shirt line, even though multiple replays from various angles show it clearly coming off the player’s forearm.
After the game, manager Frank Lampard was in no mood for platitudes and absolutely went off not so much on referee Paul Tierney but more so Stockley Park VAR referee Chris Kavanagh.
“That’s VAR’s call, that’s Chris Kavanagh. It’s completely on Chris, I’ve spoken to the referees on the day and they know it’s a penalty.
“So my question was whether it was offside in the buildup, and it wasn’t. So its Chris Kavanagh because the referee could not see it on the pitch, he was on the other side, and that’s fine. That’s one of the reasons we’ve got VAR to have those secondary eyes and a minute or two.. it wouldn’t even need more than five seconds to say that was a penalty, everybody saw it.
“So he obviously either should have told the referees it’s a penalty, give it. Or go take a look, just to be clear, and I can’t understand why he didn’t.
“We’ve lost a point potentially while we’re fighting for our life by a professional who can’t do his job right, and that’s amazing. And everyone in the Premier League will know it, and I’ll wait for the statement or the apology or whatever they do when they give a statement about things that they were wrong but it’ll mean nothing.”
Meanwhile Everton now sit in 17th place, just one point off Burnley who are in the relegation zone and Lampard was inconsolable about Kavanagh’s error.
Frank Lampard clarifies referee Paul Tierney told him that Richarlison was NOT offside in the buildup to the handball.— Royal Blue Mykolenko (@RBMersey) February 26, 2022
VAR's Chris Kavanagh, and only Chris Kavanagh, was responsible for the determination that was not a penalty.#EFC #EVEMCI pic.twitter.com/NsG8YN2yzi
He didn’t end there either -
“There is not a person who watches that... that can’t see that’s a penalty. Something has to be done about that.”
“VAR 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. I have a three-year-old daughter at home who could tell you that was a penalty.
“A mistake is when you have done something wrong and don’t have time to think about it, they had two minutes to digest the handball. It is incompetence at best.”
One can assume there will be some fines coming his way in case the Premier League feels his comments were out of line, but you can be sure there is not an Evertonian out there who is not agreeing with him right now.