PGMOL managing director Mike Riley called Everton manager Frank Lampard and managing director Bill Kenwright to offer personal apologies for a missed penalty call in the Toffees’ 1-0 loss to Manchester City on Saturday.
Surely Jurgen Klopp is waiting for his call on the other side of Merseyside, as the momentous decision could’ve well swung the Premier League title race in a very red direction. After all, he really doesn’t like Paul Tierney to the extent that you can easily imagine the referee thinking, “Oh man…” when he realized his wrong decision affected a man who claimed he doesn’t referee in an objective manner.
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The incident came moments after City had taken a 1-0 lead through Phil Foden, but referee Paul Tierney and VAR referee Chris Kavanagh did not see a penalty in Rodri’s handball inside the box.
Lampard was livid: “Pep [Guardiola] will know, Everton fans will know, Man City fans will know. It was the clearest penalty you could give: Arm is out. Great. Below the sleeve. Great. I was waiting for the penalty. Incompetence at best, at worst who knows? I’ll wait for the statement or apology they do when things are wrong but it will mean nothing.”
Everton is mired in a relegation fight, a point above the bottom three through 24 matches. They’ve played the same amount of matches as Burnley but fewer than every other team and seem likely to survive the fight for PL safety.
On the flip side, the Toffees will find the slimmest silver lining in knowing the call hurt Liverpool. Comme ci, comme ca.
As for Liverpool…
Should Everton have converted the penalty and held on for a point, the two points dropped by Man City would’ve erased any doubt as to whether there’s a Premier League title fight this season.
Chelsea’s fallen off the pace but Liverpool’s barely been deterred by City’s dominance and sits six points back with a match-in-hand on the reigning champions.
Now backfill a City draw onto the weekend’s results: Liverpool would be four points back with that match-in-hand and a match left with City as the champs set up for the always-treacherous Manchester derby this weekend.
Liverpool hosts West Ham, no sure thing, but three points at Anfield would’ve had City stepping onto the pitch against Manchester United a point ahead of their nearest rivals and both on 27 matches played. A loss or draw in the derby would’ve opened the door for Liverpool to go above City with a win at Brighton on March 12 before City goes to Palace on March 14.
Liverpool visits Man City on April 10.