By Joe Ellis

14th Aug, 2022 | 3:40pm

Everton penalty claim angers Tony Bellew, makes 'gang of cowards' statement on Twitter

Everton suffered their second defeat of the season on Saturday as Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa ran out 2-1 winners in the Midlands.

A Lucas Digne own goal brought the score close after Danny Ings and Emi Buendia had given the home side breathing space but the Toffees could not force the ball home as they piled pressure on in stoppage time.

They could have been given a penalty prior to Buendia’s goal when Mason Holgate was ploughed into by Diego Carlos in the area that the referees did not see on the field.

But replays did catch the incident and VAR checked the collision but somehow decided that no action should be taken despite the blatant foul and Tony Bellew was among many Everton fans furious at the outcome.

Once again VAR doesn’t do its job cos it’s only Everton isn’t it! Ya gang of cowards,” the former WBC cruiserweight champion boxer said via his personal Twitter account.

Both ways

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Everton fans have had their fair share of moans over the years and referee decisions are often what can unite football supporters from every club at one time or another.

What Evertonians could do with remembering is that they won’t be the only side to have a decision go against them and even VAR won’t get the correct decision every single time.

That penalty could have changed the course of the game entirely and it will sting for Frank Lampard and his players right now but they can not let it define them for the next few weeks.

Decisions by the officials can never be a good enough excuse to use when you have lost a game regardless of the magnitude because a team that deserves to win does so more often than not.

It is now time to dust themselves down and go again on Saturday 20 August when Nottingham Forest come to Merseyside to try and finally get their season up and running.