Tuesday 24 October 2017

Everton soar into top four

West Ham 1
Everton 2


Everton's quest for Champions League qualification is back on track but only after a series of controversial detours against West Ham. Referee Anthony Taylor's direction of proceedings at Upton Park baffled and infuriated both teams and caused swift shifts of momentum at crucial times.

Everton eventually prevailed, but David Moyes's joy was tempered by his dismay at the display of a referee who disallowed a goal and issued two contentious red cards.

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce was even more aghast and says he will seek a meeting with Taylor's superiors to ensure the 34-year-old official never repeats this performance.

West Ham benefited from the referee's first significant intervention, which came in the 12th minute. Leighton Baines delivered a typically precise corner kick to Leon Osman, who nodded into the net from 10 yards, but the referee chalked off the goal on grounds that were far from obvious.

"I can't see how the linesman can give that decision when he's 50 yards away and the referee is only 15 away. It was tough to take," Moyes said.

It was even tougher to take two minutes later, when the reprieved hosts went in front, Carlton Cole firing a low shot into the net.

On 64 minutes, Everton drew level thanks to a superb finish by Victor Anichebe, who headed in a Steven Pienaar cross from seven yards.

West Ham had barely digested that when another controversial decision by the referee left them spluttering. Taylor showed Cole a straight red card in the 67th minute after the forward challenged Baines for a bouncing ball.

Cole raised his foot to kick it and instead prodded the defender near the chest. Baines did not even pretend to be hurt and both managers confessed to being shocked at Cole's expulsion.

Allardyce wondered how Cole's challenge differed from a similar incident in the first half involving Anichebe and James Collins. "We didn't get consistency from the referee and that had a massive effect on the result," Allardyce said.

Everton took advantage of the swing in fortunes. In the 73rd minute, Osman's pull-back ricocheted off Matt Taylor and then Pienaar before trickling into the net.

Referee Taylor then found some consistency, dismissing Darron Gibson for a challenge on Mark Noble similar to Cole's one on Baines.

Both managers confirmed they will appeal against the expulsions and Allardyce said he will take the matter even further. "I'd like to know what the referees' coaches think about what happened today and what is the right way forward for Anthony Taylor," he said.


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