Jordan Pickford’s concession of a penalty as Everton lost at Tottenham was checked by VAR but not referred to referee Paul Tierney, Joe Thomas reports.
The Toffees were holding their own in the capital and should have been ahead at half time as Demarai Gray and Amadou Onana missed wonderful opportunities on the counter, before a mistake by the goalkeeper after the break saw him give away and then concede a spot kick to his England teammate Harry Kane.
Pickford spilled a shot in the 58th minute then threw an arm out in an attempt to knock the ball away, with the Three Lions captain going over it despite there not appearing to be any actual contact, but the video assistant wouldn’t save him.
Writing on his Twitter account during the second half Liverpool Echo journalist Thomas said: “Just on the Spurs pen: Understand VAR did check the decision but did not send it to on-field ref Paul Tierney as it wouldn’t have been deemed a clear and obvious error.”
Conceding the penalty felt very much like losing the game itself for Frank Lampard’s side, as they would have reason to feel hard done by, but also can only blame themselves.
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The first-half showing was very encouraging, as the team weathered the early pressure from the home side and then fashioned two huge opportunities of their own.
Had one or both been taken there looked like every chance Everton could spring a surprise and take the win, and Pickford himself had then started the second half strongly.
That was why it was such a disappointment for him to not hold on to a low shot before giving Kane the chance to go down.
Where viewers stand on whether it should have been awarded will no doubt rest entirely on their allegiances to either of the teams or players involved, but there is little doubt that the Spurs striker saw the opportunity and was going down no matter what.
He wasn’t actually impeded so there is surely an argument that it was a clear and obvious error, but Pickford knew he’d made a mistake and was kicking himself that Kane took advantage.
VAR actually did come to the Toffees’ rescue at long last in denying Marcus Rashford a goal last Sunday (9 October), but expecting another charitable intervention a week later was unlikely to pay off.