Marco Silva blames one key factor on Everton’s FA Cup exit

Marco Silva hit out at the inconsistent use of Video Assistant Referees (VAR) after Everton bombed out of the FA Cup 3-2 at Millwall.

Toffees boss Silva was flummoxed by Millwall’s second goal not being ruled out after Jake Cooper nudged home with his arm.

Defender Cooper later admitted he handled the ball, with left-back Murray Wallace drilling an added-time winner to stun a lacklustre Everton.

Silva insisted he has worked for “20 or 30 hours” on set pieces in training amid Everton’s inept defending, while also criticising FA Cup organisers for not implementing VAR at every match.

“Two points made the difference: we have to be more mature, taking the responsibility on the pitch, and the decision on their second goal,” said Silva.

“You can work 20 or 30 hours on the same things, set-pieces, but you have to take your responsibility onto the pitch with you.

“We knew what they would do before the match but we gave them what they wanted. And if the competition has VAR for some stadiums then it has to have it in all.

“Because it doesn’t make sense. It was a clear handball. I’m sure handball is not allowed in football.

“We had seven, eight players in the penalty area. They all see that it’s handball, so it’s really difficult that the referee cannot see that also.

“And then it’s also on the big screen, thousands of people see it there but the referee didn’t see it again.

“It was really strange in that moment. And those two moments made a big impact.

“It doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t make sense (not to have VAR at every match). If we have to be fair with all the clubs, and with the competition, you have to do it for all the games.

“Now we go home frustrated. You have to be fair, even with the competition, not just with Everton.”

Richarlison put Everton ahead, only for Lee Gregory to nod Millwall level on the stroke of half-time.

Cenk Tosun handed the Toffees the lead again midway through the second half but again Millwall levelled, this time through Cooper’s controversial goal.

And just when Everton were preparing to settle for a replay, up popped Wallace with the winner.

Millwall boss Neil Harris confirmed Cooper admitted he had handled the ball home for his side’s second equaliser.

But the former Millwall striker insisted his side fully deserved their victory, as the hosts played on their ferocious home support to stun the limp-willed visitors.

“At the time I thought Marco Silva was moaning that it was offside,” said Harris. “So I didn’t even know (about the handball).

“But Jake’s been honest enough to say that the ball hit his arm.

“If we’ve got a little bit of fortune there we’ll take that because we’ve had very little luck this year.

“Can the referee change his mind from watching the big-screen replay? I don’t know. Even I couldn’t tell at that point. I thought the issue was possible offside.

“I was just more concerned with us getting the game restarted and going to chase a winner.”


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