Everton’s manager Marco Silva has absolved his players, including star player Alex Iwobi, of any blame following their 3-2 loss away to Brighton Hove and Albion on Saturday.
Under fire boss Marco Silva has chosen to point accusing fingers at the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) as being the reason for Everton’s defeat, claiming that his players gave their all but were undeservedly punished by the new technology’s biased penalty call.
Super Eagles playmaker Alex Iwobi was in action for 72 minutes but his best efforts could not help Everton secure their first back-to-back win of the season, as the Toffees went down to a late Maupay penalty and own goal.
Pascal Gross put the Seagulls ahead with a thunderbolt of a free-kick early in the first half, but Everton were level just minutes later through Adam Webster’s own goal.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored the second for Marco Silva’s side minutes after replacing Iwobi.
But, the game took a dramatic twist just three minutes later, as the video assistant referee (VAR) penalized Michael Keane, for committing a foul in the box.
Maupay made no mistake from the penalty spot to level the score once again, before Everton’s captain Lucas Digne scored a bizarre own goal in added time to condemn the visitors to another loss.
Silva watched helplessly as his side saw a penalty claim rejected after Richarlison went over in the box, only for Brighton to be awarded a spot kick by the video assistant referee (VAR) and felt his charges were dealt a “tough” hand.
“We had the ambition and desire to come here and win our first away game [this season], Silva told Evertontv as monitored by Soccernet.ng.
“We did well and controlled the game and took the lead with Dominic’s goal.
“The decision [Brighton’s penalty] had a big impact.
“If VAR found that penalty it has to do the same in the opposite box [for the challenge on Richarlison].
“It has happened many times for us. It is tough for our players in the dressing room. Until 80 minutes we did everything.
“It is tough for us to not go home with three points… because we did enough to achieve that.”
Everton welcome Watford to Goodison Park for a Carabao Cup tie on Tuesday night with a quarter-final spot the prize for the winners.
Silva, then, conceded there would be no time to dwell on the bitterly disappointing closing stages of this encounter on the south coast.
“It is our obligation [to lift the players] and I already gave my first feedback,” said Silva.
“The mood is really low. It is difficult when we put in a big effort and did everything we should – and scored twice.
“It is difficult for them [players] to understand why it happened to us but you have to respect the decision and keep going.
“The next game is a different competition and if we have an ambition to go to the final we have to win.”
“We came here with a clear intention to follow in the same way as last week [2-0 win over West Ham United], to win the game.
“We knew it would be tough, Brighton are strong with fast players in attack.
“We had a good first half, even if we conceded, and scored for 1-1.
“We had one or two dangerous moments when we could have scored the second goal, they had some as well.
“It was balanced game, tough for both teams.
“We scored and were more or less in control of the game, then came that moment.
“There were some positives to come from the game, unfortunately we did not get the result and it is a tough moment.
“Many things are going against us. But together, fighting and improving, we will achieve the results we want,” Silva concluded.