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'It is incompetence at best' | Frank Lampard on Rodri's 'handball' not being called

The decision not to award a penalty for a handball against Manchester City was 'incompetence at best' according to Everton manager Frank Lampard.

The decision not to award a penalty for a handball against Manchester City was 'incompetence at best' according to Everton manager Frank Lampard.

Manchester City returned to winning ways on Saturday night with a 1-0 victory over Everton. The victory put the table-toppers back out to a six-point lead ahead of Liverpool.

While Everton had held City goalless for the majority of the match, it was Phil Foden's goal in the 82nd minute that secure Pep Guardiola's men the victory.

However in the 84th minute, a controversial VAR decision denied Everton a penalty chance after it appeared that Rodri had handled the ball.

While Guardiola maintained after the match that the decision was overruled due to Richarlson being offside in the build-up to the incident, Everton's Lampard, as well as the Sky Sports pundits could not believe that a penalty was not awarded.

Everton coach Ashley Cole was seen arguing with the referee after the match, presumably about the penalty decision. He was subsequently yellow carded for the interaction.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Lampard lamented the referee's and VAR's decision.

"We are a bit hurting because we deserved it for the performance and a huge decision," Lampard said. "I was quite calm, I wasn't shouting and ranting at him.

"I wanted to know if it was offside in the build-up. If that happens, it negates the penalty shout. It wasn't, I've been told that clear. It was not offside against Richarlson in the build-up.

"Then, it is just to isolate the penalty. The referee said he was on the other side of it. Fine, I get that. So, go to VAR who have a minute and a half to two minutes to look at it."

Lampard believes that the decision not to award the penalty could have a huge impact on the overall outcome of the League.

"To think that Chris Kavanagh has not given that penalty," Lampard said. "It strikes him on the arm, midway. It strikes him when his arm is not in a natural position.

"I've got a three-year-old daughter at home who can tell you that's a penalty. I'm not being funny, I don't mean to make light of it.

"We are in a position where we are fighting at the bottom of the table. Manchester City are fighting to win leagues. Every decision is crucial.

"When you have a system to have a minute or two to have a view on the easiest decision you are going to get on a handball.

"It is incompetence at best! If it is not that, then somebody needs to explain to me what it is. We have to accept it, and we have to take pride in the performance."

'It is just ridiculous'

Sky Sports pundits and former players Micah Richards and Karen Carney sympathised with Lampard and the Everton fans.

"For me it was a penalty," Carney said. "It was a good build-up, they get down the sides, they are quick onto it, the bounce comes up and for me there is backspin on it.

"Rodri puts out his arm, Richarlison comes in behind. He gets across there and for me, that hits his arm. There is obviously the t-shirt line, which means if it hits on his t-shirt it wouldn't be a handball.

"For me, that's a handball and I can't believe they didn't say to the referee to go and have a look."

Richards feels that the decision will not only impact Liverpool's chances of chasing down City, but it may have sealed Everton's relegation fate.

"It is below the t-shirt line," Richards said. "It is just ridiculous. We have talked about VAR so many times and of late they have gotten so many things right.

"Today, they got it wrong and it has cost Everton dearly. It has cost everyone involved in the Premier League, but today, forget Liverpool and what they are doing, Everton need to stay up!

"They get a draw out of the game and it enhances their chances. How can that not be clear enough evidence?"


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Chelsea Everton Frank Lampard Liverpool Manchester City Pep Guardiola Phil Foden Premier League Rodri