VAR travesty triggers more away-day pain for Everton

Saturday, 26 October, 2019 0comments  |  Jump to last
Brighton 3 - 2 Everton

Everton fell to their sixth defeat in nine games after a hugely controversial decision by Video Assistant Referee Lee Mason spurred Brighton to a 3-2 victory courtesy of Lucas Digne's own goal.

The Blues had come back from a goal down to take a deserved 2-1 lead with a quarter of an hour left when substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin slotted past Mat Ryan setting up the prospect of a rare away victory for Marco Silva's side before VAR travesty struck.

In what will go down as the first penalty decision over-turned by VAR, Michael Keane was adjudged by Mason to have fouled Aaron Connolly in the box by Michael Keane where the on-pitch referee, Andy Madley, hadn't seen fit to point to the spot. Neal Maupay buried the resulting penalty with 10 minutes left and Digne inadvertently turned Leandro Trossard's stoppage-time cross past his own goalkeeper to complete an afternoon of misery on the sodden south coast for Everton.

With Yerry Mina unavailable because of a knee injury, Silva made just one change to the side that had started last weekend's 2-0 victory over West Ham, with Mason Holgate coming in to partner Keane at centre-half.

The match was fairly uneventful until Andre Gomes lazily tripped his man outside the box and Pascal Gross smashed the resulting free kick through the defensive wall and past Jordan Pickford to put the hosts ahead in the 15th minute.

Everton were level within five minutes, however. Lucas Digne swept a corner into the box where Richarlison appeared to convert with his head but Adam Webster would eventually be credited with an own goal.

Theo Walcott then had a chance blocked as the visitors briefly threatened to add to the scoreline but their rhythm was disrupted by an injury to Bernard just before the half-hour mark, one that necessitated his withdrawal from the contest. The Brazilian went down off the ball with an apparent knee injury and would leave the stadium on crutches after the final whistle.

Gylfi Sigurdsson came on as his replacement and he would soon have an effort comfortably saved by Ryan, the Australian also denying Walcott again and Alex Iwobi before the Nigerian ended a short corner routine with a curling shot that sailed just wide of the post.

Brighton had the ball in the net but the “goal” was ruled out following a VAR check but it was Everton who would take the lead for real following Calvert-Lewin's introduction for Iwobi. The young centre-forward made an almost instant impact, latching onto Holgate's neat pass and sliding a shot from the angle under the advancing keeper.

Brighton responded quickly by upping their own tempo but had penalty appeals waved away by referee Madley when Connolly went down in a seemingly innocuous incident with Keane. The decision was deferred to Mason at Stockley Park and he advised Madley to award a spot-kick, much to the incredulity of Everton's players.

Neal Maupay swept his penalty straight down the middle of the goal the pendulum swung decisively in Brighton's favour. Taking advantage of a shell-shocked Everton, the home side attacked with verve on occasions in the closing stages and got their reward in the fourth minute of injury time when Digne tried to cut out Trossard's cross from the Brighton left but could only put it into his own net, capping another miserable away day for the massed ranks of travelling Blues in the South Stand.


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