Sean Dyche hits out at referee over ‘bizarre’ decision in loss to Liverpool

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Sean Dyche branded Craig Dawson’s decision not to send Ibrahima Konate off in Everton’s Merseyside derby defeat bizarre and incredible as he criticised the referee and called for VAR to be used to determine bookable offences.

The Liverpool defender, who was on a booking, was spared a second yellow card for a foul on Everton substitute Beto – a decision which Dyche accused Pawson of rushing to and which he felt was stunning and almost impossible.

Dyche claimed he had no idea why he was booked in Everton’s 2-0 loss, which was sealed by a late brace from Mohamed Salah.

He did not complain about the award of the penalty for the Egyptian’s opener, for handball against Michael Keane, but questioned the first caution Ashley Young received for his first-half red card, though he admitted the second was correct.

But Konate’s reprieve, when the game was still goalless, bemused him. “I have no clue,” Dyche said. “I have asked the referee and he said he didn’t feel it was a bookable offence. I think people who were here today would be stunned it was not a second yellow.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp promptly replaced Konate and said afterwards that the Frenchman could have been sent off and that he understood Dyche’s frustration.

“Jurgen couldn’t wait to get him off because he knows,” the Everton manager said. “Fair play. I think that is an honest view. I don’t want to bleat too much because we lost. I can’t remember the last time I spoke this openly about referees but that one is incredible to me. And I got a yellow card, I don’t know what for.”

Dyche was annoyed by Pawson’s swift decision-making, explained: “I have seen the footage back and within a second he is saying, ‘No chance no chance.” You aren’t giving yourself thinking time. If you give yourself 10 seconds, you think, ‘That has to be a yellow’. That is just bizarre to me. How that is not a second yellow is nearly impossible in the modern game.”

Whereas Pawson was sent to the monitor to review the handball that led to the penalty, there is no scope for VAR to intervene for bookings but Dyche said: “I think there is where VAR should step in. In a game of this magnitude, I think VAR should be there to correct it.”

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