‘It cannot happen’ – Carlo Ancelotti still upset over VAR call against West Ham

Carlo Ancelotti's Everton travel to Aston Villa on Thursday (Dave Thompson/PA).
Carlo Ancelotti's Everton travel to Aston Villa on Thursday (Dave Thompson/PA). (PA Wire)
16:42pm, Wed 12 May 2021
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Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti has criticised the video assistant referee in Sunday’s 1-0 win at West Ham, saying a “huge mistake” was made that warranted an apology.

The contest at the London Stadium saw a header from Everton substitute Josh King appear to hit a post, but replays have suggested Craig Dawson might have made a block on the line with his arm that kept the effort out.

When asked about that incident at his press conference ahead of Thursday’s trip to Aston Villa, Ancelotti said: “He (King) scored a goal and I’m really surprised that nobody knows this.

“I’m really surprised about myself, because I didn’t see the handball, but above all the VAR (Darren England). I think the VAR was not there at the stadium.

“At the end of the day we won, but imagine if West Ham had equalised at the last minute after that mistake?

“It was a big, a huge mistake. It cannot happen with VAR. It cannot happen. Nobody said nothing to us, apologise, ‘Sorry’. It was enough to say, ‘Sorry, we did a mistake’.”

Sunday’s result left Everton, with four matches of their Premier League campaign remaining, three points behind fifth-placed West Ham, who have played a game more.

Regarding the battle for Europe, Ancelotti said: “Top four is not a possibility for us, we have to be honest. We can fight for the other positions.

“I don’t know which position we can reach, but we have to get (as many) more points as possible. Tomorrow is vital, as it was vital against West Ham. We know this and I hope the team will be able to repeat the same performance.”

Everton finished 12th last season after Ancelotti took charge in December 2019, and the Italian said of this term: “The team improved, we have more knowledge and confidence, we had good results, fantastic results away. So our season has to be considered a good season.

“We are still in the fight for Europe and we want to put all our energy for our target.”

Everton have picked up 36 points from their 17 away games this season and only 19 from 17 at home.

Ancelotti added: “Of course, the results at home, we could do much better. But we have to consider also we did a fantastic away run. We won 11 games away. I think the position where we are now is the position we deserved.”

Everton faced Villa at Goodison Park on May 1, losing 2-1 and producing what Ancelotti described as “one of the worst performances” they have put in all season, but the Italian is confident his side will play “differently” on Thursday.

Playmaker James Rodriguez and defender Yerry Mina will miss Thursday’s game. Rodriguez has been sidelined after hurting his calf in the warm-up ahead of the earlier Villa game and fellow Colombian Mina sustained an adductor problem against West Ham.

Ancelotti said: “I think he (Rodriguez) starts to train with the team Friday. I hope Friday and Saturday he trains properly and can play against Sheffield United (on Sunday). He is pain-free, but he didn’t train with the squad so I cannot put him at risk tomorrow.”

Regarding Mina, he said: “It is not a big problem. He was out, he tried to train yesterday but he was a little bit uncomfortable. I hope to recover him for the game against Sheffield United.”

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