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Everton boss Frank Lampard blasts ‘incompetent’ VAR over Rodri handball in Manchester City defeat

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rank Lampard tore into VAR Chris Kavanagh after his Everton side were denied a late penalty against Manchester City, a decision which could have huge implications for the Premier League title race and relegation battle.

City, whose defeat against Tottenham last weekend reignited a race that had looked over, were leading 1-0 at Goodison Park through Phil Foden when midfielder Rodri appeared to use his arm to control the ball inside his own penalty area.

However, on-field referee Paul Tierney did not award a penalty and VAR opted not to intervene after a review, leaving Lampard incensed.

“There is no doubt, there is no probably to it,” said Lampard on whether his side should have been awarded a spot-kick.

“The decision is incredible, incredible, and that loses us the opportunity to get what we deserved.

“That’s a VAR call. That’s Chris Kavanagh, I spoke to the referee and they know it is a penalty, the question is that is it offside and it wasn’t. That’s the reason we have VAR.

“It wouldn’t have needed more than five seconds to know it was a penalty. He (Kavanagh) should have either told the referee to give it or told him to go look at it.”

Victory for City keeps them six points clear of second-placed Liverpool, who have a game in hand, with the two sides still to meet later in the campaign.

For Everton, who are involved in a relegation battle, just a point outside the relegation zone, the result could prove even more significant.

“We’ve lost a point because of a professional who cannot do his job right,” Lampard continued.

“You start searching for whys and I can’t think why. It is so incompetent to get it wrong.

“Pep [Guardiola] will know, Everton fans will know, Man City fans will know, it was the clearest penalty you could give: arm is out – great, below the sleeve – great, I was waiting for the penalty.

“Incompetence at best, at worst who knows?

“I’ll wait for the statement or apology they do when things are wrong but it will mean nothing.”

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