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Ref was like my team, not good - Ancelotti

Everton 1 Southampton 1

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Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti. Photo: Reuters

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti. Photo: Reuters

REUTERS

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti. Photo: Reuters

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti was not impressed with referee Lee Mason's performance in last night's draw at home to Southampton but refused to criticise the official for the one real controversial decision of the game.

The match was finely poised after Richarlison's effort just before half-time had cancelled out Danny Ings' 19th Premier League goal of the season, when the Brazil international was brought down by Jan Bednarek on the edge of the penalty area.

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Southampton's Danny Ings challenges Everton's Yerry Mina. Photo: PA

Southampton's Danny Ings challenges Everton's Yerry Mina. Photo: PA

PA

Southampton's Danny Ings challenges Everton's Yerry Mina. Photo: PA

Bednarek looked like he was the last defender but the official showed only a yellow card and VAR agreed the foul did not warrant a red.

"I don't want to judge the single episode," said the Italian. "The performance of the referee was like my team, not so good. In general the performance was not at the top."

Everton were sluggish in the first half, having lost to Tottenham on Monday, but improved after the break following some tactical changes by Ancelotti.

The Toffees boss admitted his side were fortunate to go in level at half-time.

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Everton's Richarlison and Southampton's Jack Stephens battle for the ball. Photo: PA

Everton's Richarlison and Southampton's Jack Stephens battle for the ball. Photo: PA

PA

Everton's Richarlison and Southampton's Jack Stephens battle for the ball. Photo: PA

"The performance was not good in the first half, much better the second half and we were more in control," he added.

"The key point for the first half was we left too much space between lines and they were controlling possession.

"Second half was much better, we started to win more second balls, more fighting.

"It was a fantastic goal (from Richarlison), a fantastic finish but we were lucky in the first half, we didn't deserve to be drawing.

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Everton's Richarlison and Southampton's Jack Stephens battle for the ball. Photo: PA

Everton's Richarlison and Southampton's Jack Stephens battle for the ball. Photo: PA

PA

Everton's Richarlison and Southampton's Jack Stephens battle for the ball. Photo: PA

"It was a difficult game, Southampton played better than us but I think the result was quite fair."

Irish Independent