Everton may well have felt they should have been playing against 10 men yesterday, although ex-Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher thinks Craig Pawson did the right thing in not brandishing a red card to Max Kilman.
The Toffees tasted a bitter defeat on Boxing Day as they conceded a 95th-minute winner despite taking the lead early on in the first half, but that may not have happened had Kilman been handed his marching orders.
Kilman was tussling with Neal Maupay when he lifted his boot up very high to try and win the ball, only for Idrissa Gueye to come rushing in and clatter into his studs at a dangerous height, with Pawson not seeing it as anything more than a yellow card.
Speaking live on Sky Sports, Gallagher labelled the challenge as ‘reckless’ but didn’t believe it was bad enough to warrant a red.
He said: “I think it’s right, actually. I think it’s a high boot, it’s reckless [but] his eyes are always on the ball, and the Everton player actually comes into his area of space, if you like.
Should this have been a red card?
“I don’t think Kilman knows he’s coming. He catches him high, but as I say, reckless – certainly not a red card, for me.”
TIF Thoughts on the incident…
Kilman’s boot was indeed higher than it should’ve been, hence the foul and the booking, but the fact Gueye had to jump up to get control of the ball also suggests that he was certainly putting himself into a dangerous position.
It’s not as if Kilman went in leading with his foot high towards Gueye’s head or even his midriff, as it was more a case of the Toffees midfielder running into the Wolves defender’s boot.
However, given how important a game it was for Everton, they would have surely relished the chance to be playing against 10 men and take advantage. Instead, Frank Lampard is stewing over yet another defeat.