February 27, 2024

Everton, like most clubs in the division, will often feel like the officials are always against them in their pursuit of progress.

If the opposition gets a penalty, fans will bring up a separate moment where they will feel they should have also got one. If a yellow card is upgraded to a red card by VAR, many will forensically analyse the footage and scour the rule book for discrepancies.

Although the standard of refereeing is arguably at its lowest point in recent memory, with the opinion surrounding them in the Premier League further tarnished by the uncertainty VAR has brought, on the weekend it seemingly worked to perfection.

They swiftly confirmed that Jarrad Branthwaite had in fact fouled Crystal Palace’s Eberechi Eze for their opener, and stayed out of most other decisions to allow the game to run smoothly.

However, there was one moment of contention, as the same two players were involved in another tussle in the box. With the latter gliding past the centre-back, he threw himself over an outstretched leg and waited for the whistle.

Crystal Palace v Everton FC - Premier League

When it came, it was not the outcome the magician had hoped, with Sam Barrott instead booking Eze for simulation.

Dermot Gallagher has since sought to dispute that decision, despite praising the referee, whilst speaking to Sky Sports: ‘I won’t knock the referee because I think he’s one of the best up-and-coming referees in the Premier League and in his few games, I think he’s done really well.

‘He’ll learn as he gets older and has more experience that sometimes you’ve got a third option. I think play on is a far better option because I don’t think it’s a dive.’

 

Did Everton deserve to beat Crystal Palace?

Whilst the Toffees have often been ridiculed this campaign for their inability to convert the chances they forge, Saturday marked a refreshing change of pace.

After all, Sean Dyche’s men were actually rather proficient, and instead of succumbing to the usual pattern which has seen them score just 14 goals from an expected goals of 20.80, they found a way to finish lower-quality chances.

Crystal Palace v Everton FC - Premier League

 

Their three goals came from an expected goals tally of just 1.53, meanwhile the hosts would score twice from 2.17.

It could be argued that the Eagles were better value for a result, given they enjoyed more possession, took more shots and had more corners. But, in the end, their two big chances were stacked against Everton’s three, and that is how the game would finish, via Sofascore.

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