LIVERPOOL, England (Reuters) - Everton and Manchester United drew 1-1 at Goodison Park in the Premier League on Sunday in an enthralling game which ended with late VAR drama and home manager Carlo Ancelotti sent off.
A superb 31st-minute strike from United midfielder Bruno Fernandes had replied to Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s early opener and the Everton striker thought he had grabbed the three points in stoppage time with a low shot that deflected off Harry Maguire but his effort was ruled out by VAR.
Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson was lying on the floor, after having had his initial shot saved by David De Gea. After referee Chris Kavanagh had consulted with his linesman, VAR ruled out the goal for offside, given that Sigurdsson was in De Gea’s line of sight.
The decision infuriated Everton and their manager Carlo Ancelotti was handed a red card for his protests after the final whistle.
“It’s not the first time I have been sent off and it won’t be the last,” joked Ancelotti, who, having calmed down after the game, admitted it was a “difficult” decision for the referee.
That last-gasp drama came moments after Everton keeper Jordan Pickford had produced a superb double save to keep out an initial Fernandes effort and then, with his feet, one from substitute Odion Ighalo.
A draw was a fair result however and leaves United in fifth place, three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, while Everton are 11th.
A dreadful error from De Gea gifted Everton a third-minute opener — the Spaniard dawdled on the ball after a pass-back from Maguire and his attempted clearance was charged down by Calvert-Lewin and flew off the Everton striker into the net.
Calvert-Lewin should have doubled the lead shortly afterwards when he broke free of the United defence but shot just wide of De Gea’s right-hand post.
United responded well to the early setback though with Nemanja Matic hitting the cross-bar with a long-range effort and then forcing Pickford into a diving save with another well-struck drive.
January signing Feranandes, the Portuguese midfielder who has brought some much-needed creativity to the United side, put the visitors level with a superb low shot from outside the box in the 31st minute.
Djibril Sidibe had given the ball away to Matic, who set up Fernandes for his pinpoint effort, although Pickford accepted he had been “half a yard out of position”.
Sigurdsson hit the post with a curling free kick 12 minutes after the interval and the home side were the stronger during the second half as United struggled to maintain their excellent first-half level of performance.
“One point each, is what both teams deserve, we had the first half and they had the second,” said United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, while Ancelotti also struck a positive tone.
“We played really well, I’m happy for this, we have to continue, no complaints, and we have to look forward. The performance was really good against a really good team and we were competitive all the time,” said the Italian.
Reporting by Simon Evans; editing by Clare Fallon