LIVERPOOL (AFP) – Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti was sent off after approaching the referee as yet more video assistant referee (VAR) controversy contributed to a fiery finish in a 1-1 draw with Manchester United late on Sunday.
Goalkeeping errors by both United’s David De Gea and Everton’s Jordan Pickford were central to the outcome at Goodison Park.
But Everton thought they had won the game in stoppage time when a shot from Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who had opened the scoring, deflected off United’s Harry Maguire and into the net.
The goal, however, was ruled out by the video assistant referee with the offside Gylfi Sigurdsson, lying in the path of De Gea, deemed to have obstructed the view of the keeper.
Ancelotti was as unhappy as the home crowd on Merseyside, with the Toffees boss sent off after approaching referee Chris Kavanagh on the field after the final whistle.
“He sent me off the pitch but then after that I had a long conversation with him that I would like to keep private,” Ancelotti told Sky Sports.
“The goal (Calvert-Lewin’s disallowed shot) I think was a borderline situation.
“He (the referee) said that Gylfi (Sigurdsson) was offside but in our opinion he did not affect the vision of De Gea. It is difficult to decide but the game is finished, it is a draw and we played really well so we are happy.”
The red card means Ancelotti is in line for a touchline ban for Everton’s next match, against his former club Chelsea.
“I hope not because I did not disrespect the referee, he knows this,” said the Italian.
“If I have to be banned I will be in the stands at Stamford Bridge. It is not a big problem, honestly, we will prepare well for the game.”
The draw saw fifth-placed United miss the chance to cut the gap to Chelsea in fourth to a single point in the Premier League table as Everton stayed in 11th position.
“We should be leading at half-time,” said United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
“Then they threw everything at us. But we should have won it with the chance at the end. I am pleased with a point.”
It took Everton just three minutes to break the deadlock with a bizarre goal that delighted the Goodison Park faithful.
There seemed little danger as De Gea dwelt on a clearance.
But his eventual kick downfield was blocked by the charging Calvert-Lewin, with the rebound flying into the unguarded United net.
De Gea did make amends in part by denying Calvert-Lewin a second goal by tipping a shot wide.
Another goalkeeping error helped United draw level in the 31st minute when England number one Pickford, with national manager Gareth Southgate watching from the stands, failed to cover Bruno Fernandes’ speculative, if well-struck, effort from long range.
Everton midfielder Sigurdsson went close to making it 2-1 early in the second half.
United’s Victor Lindelof carelessly gave away a free-kick on the edge of the box and Sigurdsson saw his curling strike come back off the post, with Richarlison unable to get the rebound on target as he followed up.
In the closing moments of normal time, Pickford blocked Fernandes’ initial shot and acrobatically dashed across his goal to keep out Odion Ighalo’s follow-up.
De Gea then saved from Sigurdsson before the replay row at the other end of the pitch, with Solskjaer saying, “What a great save. He makes amends there.”