Dominic Calvert-Lewin: VAR decision in Everton’s draw with Man Utd a ‘disaster’

Dominic Calvert-Lewin called Everton’s late controversial disallowed goal against Manchester United a “disaster”.

VAR ruled out Calvert-Lewin’s deflected stoppage-time strike in the 1-1 draw after the technology adjudged that Gylfi Sigurdsson, who was laying prone in an offside position, interfered with play as the the ball went into the bottom corner past David de Gea.

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It looked highly unlikely De Gea would have saved the shot anyway but the goal was chalked off leaving Everton incensed. Carlo Ancelotti was sent off for his reaction on the pitch at full-time.

Calvert-Lewin’s immediate reaction when shown the goal was “that is a disaster. Oh my gosh. He’s not even obstructing the line of sight”, before he gave a more measured response in his post-match interview and admitted in real time he had no idea.

“In the moment, I wasn’t sure. Seeing it back I think Gylfi on the floor doesn’t obstruct the line of sight,” the forward said.

“Fair enough, he’s in an offside position but then it takes a deflection, the keeper is going the other way and he’s got his legs out of the way. The keeper is never going to save the ball so I’m not sure what it is.

“For me, as a striker, I think it’s a goal but VAR says otherwise and cancels out the emotion at the end. What can you do?”

Ancelotti was sent off after making his way onto the pitch to demand an explanation from referee Chris Kavanagh and refusing to move when asked to by the official.

He spoke at length to the officials beneath the stand after the game and was adamant De Gea’s vision was not impacted by Sigurdsson’s positioning, even if he was offside.

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“I asked the referee to explain after the game and then he sent me off the pitch. After that I spoke with him, had a conversation and this conversation we will keep private,” Ancelotti told Sky Sports.

“It was a borderline situation in the sense that Gylfi was offside, but in our opinion he didn’t affect the vision of the goalkeeper. It’s really difficult to decide but anyway the game is finished, it’s a draw and we played really well. I’m happy with this.

“No complaints and we have to look forward because the performance of the team is the most important thing.”

When pressed on whether or not he accepted the decision following a more detailed explanation after the game, Ancelotti was less forgiving.

“No because Gylfi was on the floor and the vision was clear,” he added.

“But it was offside, he was in front of the goalkeeper and then you have to decide if the vision is affected. Of course, everyone knows that the decision of referees are really difficult.”

The Everton reaction was the complete opposite to Sky Sports pundits Roy Keane and Graeme Souness, who both felt the correct decision was reached by the officiating team.

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“He was [in the line of sight]. It takes a big deflection but he was. The law is about being in the line of sight,” Souness said.

“If there is somebody there and I’m the goalkeeper, he’s on the ground and in the line of sight. I’m looking beyond him and through him but there is no doubt about, he’s smack bang in the middle of it.

“Where the shot is coming from he’s looking over the head of Gylfi Sigurdsson. He must be in his sight. The deflection confuses everybody but for me he’s definitely in the goalie’s eyeline.”

Keane felt the fact it was a late goal and would have handed Everton a dramatic three points meant the reaction to it being disallowed was “more emotional than normal”.

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“I don’t think he would have saved it but they got to the right decision,” Keane explained. “Sometimes it’s so late in the game and it’s going to be the winning goal, people are even more emotional than normal. But it has to be [disallowed].

“I’d be annoyed with Sigurdsson for not getting out of the way. He sits there and please tell me what’s he waiting for? You’ve got to try and clear the area, that’s common sense.

“I understand why Everton are disappointed but it’s the correct call.”

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, unsurprisingly, felt it was the right move to rule the goal out and revealed De Gea told him he had been distracted by Sigurdsson’s presence.

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