Should Sylvain Distin’s goal against Liverpool been allowed to stand?
The moment came on a Leighton Baines corner-kick in the 55th minute.
Victor Anichebe was posted up in the center of the goal mouth about three yards behind Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina. Jose Enrique was marking Anichebe and with his right hand, had a full grasp of the Nigerian’s kit. As the corner came in Anichebe and Reina each took one step forward in anticipation of Baines’ cross. By this time, Enrique had lost Anichebe and had both hands on the striker’s back, giving him a slight push.
Meanwhile, Sylvain Distin was making his run from the top of the 18 yard box. The Frenchman was marked tight (at least, initially) by Jamie Carragher, and took a direct route to the far post.
In mid-flight of the cross, Reina and Anichebe both recognized it was heading to the far post. Anichebe was the first to move right and Reina followed shortly thereafter. In doing so, the Spaniard turned into Anichebe’s back and fell to the ground.
By this time Carragher had lost Distin. Out of sorts and beaten, Carragher scrambled while Distin rose high to meet Baines’ cross and thumped it into the back of the net from 2 yards out.
The split second before Distin connected with the cross, Oliver had blown his whistle signaling Anichebe for an infringement on Reina. Replays show that Anichebe simply maintained his ground as Reina fell into him.
So the question has to be asked: Was this a foul? If so, why?
An offensive player who hits a keeper on a set-piece kick should always be whistled for a foul. But a keeper who collides with the opposition? That seems like a harsh decision and one that makes for poor precedence going forward.
For Everton, the goal would not only have helped put an end to their 14 year drought at Anfield but, more importantly, would have kept the Toffees within arms-length of 5th place Tottenham and a spot in the Europa League. With the draw however, David Moyes’ side is now five points back with two matches to play (and Spurs have a game in hand).
Check out the incident, which begins at 1 min 57 sec.