Football pundit Michael Ball has weighed in on the controversial decision during the Everton vs. Nottingham Forest clash, where Everton secured a crucial away win with Dwight McNeil’s goal. Despite Forest having a potential opportunity to equalize when Abdoulaye Doucoure committed a foul in the penalty area, the referee dismissed the appeal, and VAR did not intervene.
In Ball’s assessment shared with the Liverpool Echo, he acknowledged Everton’s stroke of luck, noting the potential penalty that went unawarded. Expressing surprise at the VAR’s lack of intervention, Ball admitted they “probably got away with a penalty,” a fortunate break they needed during a period where Forest started to pose a threat.
Ball highlighted moments in the second half where Forest, sensing an opportunity, could have capitalized if they had more quality. The acknowledgment of being let off the hook suggests Everton’s victory might have hinged on a contentious decision.
Even devoted Everton fans concede that luck played a role in this instance, given that penalties are sometimes awarded for less clear-cut situations. Notably, the absence of VAR intervention to review the decision adds an extra layer of intrigue to the controversy.
Had the decision gone against Everton, it could have sparked social media uproar and potentially drawn criticism from Forest manager Sean Dyche. The pundit expressed concern about the overall quality of refereeing in the current season, describing it as one of the worst in recent memory, with officials seemingly exacerbating issues on a weekly basis.
Despite the controversy, the focus shifts to Everton’s ability to secure three points at the challenging venue of the City Ground. The victory becomes a noteworthy achievement for Everton, especially considering the adversity they have faced. With attention on Everton’s broader challenges, the specific controversy surrounding the decision may be overshadowed by the team’s resilience in securing a win under difficult circumstances.