The decision not to send off Everton defender Ben Godfrey for standing on the face of Arsenal’s Takehiro Tomiyasu in Monday night’s Premier League has been backed up by a referee
Godfrey was the talk of social media on Monday night after he avoided a red card, despite stepping on Tomiyasu’s face in the first half of the teams’ Premier League match.
Dean initially chose not to reprimand Godfrey and the VAR backed up the on-field referee’s call after watching replays of the incident on the touchline.
Tomiyasu remonstrated with Dean, showing him the scratch the boot had made on his face, but Godfrey stayed on the pitch, only picking up a yellow card during the 90 minutes as Everton came from behind to win 2-1 at Goodison Park .
Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville claimed at half-time that Godfrey “definitely” meant to make contact with his opponent , while Jamie Carragher said he was “a very lucky boy” to stay on the pitch.
However, former Premier League referee Gallagher believes the right decision was made, because ultimately the officials could not prove whether Godfrey intended to step on the Arsenal right-back.
“He does look away, he’s got to put his foot down somewhere, the images don’t look good,” he told talkSPORT .
“But what I would say is if you’re going to say somebody’s stamped on somebody I’d want to be absolutely certain and in cases like this the only person who really knows is the player himself.
“So I think on that basis I would give him the benefit of the doubt.
“I don’t know what he’s doing, honestly. I’m not sticking up for the referee because I looked at it over and over and over again.
“I’ve always been hard and fast on this, unless I’m absolutely convinced someone’s stamped on somebody, I do take this notion that only he knows what’s in his mind.
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“He’ll say he’s looking away, and if he looks down the images are much different and that’s why I err a little bit on the side of caution, if you’re saying to me stamped that’s quite a serious offence and as I say I want to be 100 per cent sure.”
The decision may have been crucial in helping Everton end a run of seven games without a Premier League win.
Although Martin Odegaard’s volley sent the Toffees in 1-0 down at half-time, they fought back after the break.
Richarlison had two goals ruled out for marginal offsides by VAR before he equalised by heading in after Demarari Gray’s shot struck the woodwork.
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And Gray completed a stunning comeback when he cut inside and smashed an unstoppable effort off the post in injury-time.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta refused to blame the decision not to send off Godfrey for his side’s defeat.
“That decision is made,” he told Sky Sports after the game. “I’m sure the VAR has reviewed it, but I want more from my team.”