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Everton v Manchester City

Why did VAR not award penalty for handball against Rodri? Premier League explains decision as Everton furious at controversial call

7:38 PM GMT 26/02/2022
Rodri handball shout Man City 2021-22
The midfielder appeared to extend his arm to the ball late in the second half but video review determined otherwise

Everton were left furious after Manchester City midfielder Rodri avoided a costly handball late in the second half of their Premier League clash on Saturday.

With nobody around him, the 25-year-old appeared to extend his arm to the ball in the box.

However, the call on the pitch of no penalty was upheld by VAR review as Manchester City maintained their 1-0 advantage.

Why was the penalty not awarded?

The handball appeared straightforward, however the Premier League has reportedly said there was not conclusive evidence that the ball struck the illegal area of Rodri's arm.

Richarlison appeared slightly offside in the build-up before the incident, but that was not a factor in the decision.

In his post-match press conference, though, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola indicated he thought the decision was related to Richarlison's position in the build-up.

"It was offside," he said. "There was VAR and the action was offside. I didn't see the image."

In any case, Everton came away furious with assistant Ashley Cole being booked after the match for confronting the referees.

What has been said?

"Go to VAR, they have two minutes to look at it and to think they have not given that as a penalty when it strikes him on the arm, in an unnatural position?" Frank Lampard said to Sky Sports. "I have a three-year-old daughter at home who could tell you that was a penalty.

"We are fighting at the bottom of the table and they are fighting at the top and an easy decision to give on a penalty. I don't know what has to happen as a reflection of that. A mistake is when you have done something wrong and don't have time to think about it, they had two minutes to digest the handball.

"Even if the VAR says not sure, then go have a look. It is incompetence at best, if not that then someone needs to explain what it is."

Manchester City were predictably relieved.

"I was just praying, fingers crossed it was not a penalty," said Phil Foden. "I didn't get a good sight of it but my heart was in my mouth."

The bigger picture

The decision couldn't have been more important for both ends of the Premier League table, as a draw would have been devastating for Manchester City's title ambitions but crucial for Everton's hopes of avoiding relegation.

With the 1-0 victory, Manchester City have gained a six-point edge over Liverpool with one more match played. Everton are in 17th place.

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