By George Overhill

3rd Sep, 2022 | 2:59pm

Richard Keys slams officials as Everton denied Conor Coady winner vs Liverpool

Richard Keys couldn’t believe that Everton were denied a winning goal against Liverpool when Conor Coady’s late strike was ruled offside by VAR.

A cross-shot from Neal Maupay in the 68th minute was turned in at the back post but the on-loan Toffees defender against his former side, before a video review ruled it out for a close offside.

However, James Milner had lunged to block Maupay’s attempt, with the ball deflecting off of him on the way through, which Keys argued meant the goal should have stood, and a confusing response he received from the PGMOL appeared to confirm.

Writing on his personal Twitter account during the match he said: “I’m confused again. We’ve been told that if a player goes to make a deliberate block and the ball touches him then you can’t be off-side. Liverpool benefitted v Spurs like that a couple of seasons ago and again here. They make it up as they go along.”

After hearing back from the officiating body he added a new post, saying: “PGMOL confirm I’m right – but say the defender has to ‘deliberately make a block’. Well – what was Milner trying to do if not ‘deliberately’ block Maupay’s attempt?”

Explain that

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It isn’t often that Keys comes out with a good point but even a stopped clock is right twice a day, and if the PGMOL confirm the rules but provide a baffling interpretation of them it not only suggests Everton were denied a perfectly good goal, but that those in charge of enforcing the rules don’t know what they are looking at.

The only way Milner’s effort to block the shot from Maupay can be seen is deliberately. He didn’t happen to slip with an outstretched foot aimed at the ball. He was of course trying to get in the way, as you would expect him to.

Were it just Keys getting on his soapbox about officiating again then you might be able to argue that he is going to look for an issue anywhere he can find it, but the reply he has reported seems to prove him right.

Sure, it might be impossible for both sides to come out of a game the size of the Merseyside derby without gripes on decision-making one way or another, but this one was the difference between a goalless draw and a huge win for Frank Lampard’s side.

That Virgil van Dijk escaped with just a yellow card for a studs up challenge on Amadou Onana soon after and the VAR decided against it even being reviewed only compounds the issue.

When one team has repeated issues to bring up they are automatically seen as conspiracy theorists by rivals, especially when there is often bias on the broadcast itself, but Everton shouldn’t be put in this position over and over.

It happened at Anfield last season in this fixture, and there were numerous instances in other matches too, so fans would have been hoping that things evened themselves out this year, but on this evidence it appears not.