April 13, 2024

Ally McCoist and Jeff Stelling have been left enraged by a “clear and obvious” error from referee Paul Tierney in the clash between Everton and Nottingham Forest.

Dwight McNeil’s goal in the second half helped the Toffees win 1-0 at the City Ground on Saturday, December 2. However, Sean Dyche’s team might feel a little fortunate because they likely should have given up a penalty in the second half.

Ryan Yates seemed to be pulled to the ground by Abdoulaye Doucoure as Forest turned into a corner. Stelling thought there had been a clear foul in the penalty area, but Tierny and the VAR didn’t think there had been enough contact to warrant a penalty.

Speaking on talkSPORT (4 December, 8:50) Stelling said: “It’s as clear a penalty as you’ll ever see.”

McCoist was quick to agree saying: “I’ve got a problem with VAR there, I genuinely have a problem. I don’t have a problem with the referee missing it, because that can happen, but I have a problem with VAR probably seeing it three or four times and not getting him over to have a look at it.

“In the Forest game, I think Paul Tierney did (make a clear and obvious error). Whether he was unsighted or not, he made a clear and obvious error in my opinion not giving the penalty. Now there might have been a reason for it, in that he never saw it or there was a player in front of him or whatever.

“That’s when the VAR officials need to come in and say ‘Listen you need to have a look here’ because I personally think he made a clear and obvious error.”

Got away with one

Let’s be honest, if there is any side deserving of a bit of a helping hand from the Premier League after recent decisions, it is Everton as they have been on the wrong side of a number of close calls in recent weeks, none more damaging than the Toffees 10-point deduction.

It did appear that Doucoure had a big hand full of Yates’ shirt as the corner was swung into the area and the midfielder did appear to haul the Forest man to the ground and most supporters watching from home would have expected Tierney to point to the spot.


But for whatever reason, neither the referee of the VAR deemed the contact to be severe enough to award a penalty kick. Dyche and Everton will have no complaints about the decision and they certainly deserve that stroke of luck.

The most important thing for the Toffees was taking full advantage of that luck. Dyche’s side ensured that took their best chance of the clash to secure all three points and move them a huge step closer to Premier League safety.

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