Benitez left bemused by ref in Everton defeat, explains what Toffees missed

Date published: Sunday 17th October 2021 7:08 - James Holland

Rafa Benitez Everton

Rafa Benitez has disagreed with a refereeing decision during the 1-0 home defeat to West Ham on Sunday.

The Toffees were looking to move up the Premier League table with a victory against former manager David Moyes. But Angelo Ogbonna scored the only goal as the visitors took home the spoils.

Everton were lucky not to be behind after a bright start from West Ham. But they grew into the match and had a big chance with 28 minutes gone. Summer signing Demarai Gray did well on the right and put in a driven cross.

Alex Iwobi came to meet it but was put off by team-mate Salomon Rondon and failed to get any contact.

Keeper Jordan Pickford was beaten seven minutes later, although the goal was ruled out.

Iwobi had another good opportunity shortly after the break. Some great work down the left resulted in Lucas Digne putting in a cross. It was controlled by Iwobi, who turned and sent a shot goalwards.

Ogbonna put his body on the line and got in the way to send it out for a corner.

The centre-back would then make his mark at the other end of the pitch. Pickford went to catch a looping ball under intense pressure from Michail Antonio.

The ball went out for a corner, despite the shot-stopper’s protests for a free-kick or goal-kick. Jarrod Bowen whipped one in and Ogbonna rose tall to head into the net.

Everton could not get one back and picked up their second league defeat this term.

Responding to the loss, Benitez told BBC Match of the Day: “We played against a good team, they are big and strong and have some quality and pace.

“We were fine in the counter-attack but we were missing the final pass. The second half we started to do better pushing. We were expecting a corner or free-kick could be used against this team.”

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‘Not a corner’ for Benitez

The Spaniard added: “We can talk about the corner, which was not a corner for me. You have to protect your keeper in the six-yard box and it is something that is difficult to understand in England because that is why you have the six-yard box – to ensure the keeper is a bit more protected.

“Anyway it was a corner, we concede and after that we have to be better on the ball.

“The reaction was there but when you play against a very good team that is well organised you have to be more precise but we didn’t do it.”

Benitez then revealed the impact of being without strikers Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin. “Any team losing their top scorers will have some issues and problems but we were winning without them and the team was really good without them.”

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