Everton should have been awarded a penalty against Liverpool, but Anthony Gordon’s first-half dive is building him an unwanted ‘reputation’.
That’s according to former Reds star Danny Murphy, who claims the 21-year-old’s play-acting cost the struggling Toffees a chance of a big result in Sunday’s Merseyside derby.
In the heated contest at Anfield, the academy product was denied a ‘stonewall penalty’ after being impeded by Joel Matip when the game was in the balance.
The scoreline was locked at 0-0 the time of the incident and it could have significantly altered the outcome of the match had Everton been awarded the spot kick.
Instead, Frank Lampard’s side came away empty handed after goals from Andy Robertson and Divock Origi gave Jurgen Klopp’s side a 2-0 win – which saw the Toffees slip into the Premier League’s bottom-three.
Everton have even contacted the Professional Game Match Officials Board [PGMOL] with concerns that the incident between Gordon and Matip ‘was not given due consideration’ by either the referee or VAR team.
The Reds struggled to contain livewire Gordon on the left channel, with Trent Alexander-Arnold cynically bringing him down to prevent him from racing clear in one attack, while Matip was fortunate not to concede a penalty after tangling with the academy product.
However, what may have prevented referee Stuart Atwell from pointing to the spot was that it was not the first time in the match Gordon had gone to ground.
The midfielder attempted to win a penalty in the first-half after skipping around Naby Keita in the area, but was instead shown a yellow card for simulation.
Gordon admitted after the game that he ‘felt contact’ and went down in the box, conceding he could see why it was not given, but hit back at claims he dived to try and win a spot kick, despite the Guinea midfielder barely laying a finger on him.
Speaking to White and Jordan, former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy said it’s not the first time he’s seen it from the Everton ace.
And he admitted that it cost his team a possible result, as the first-half incident made the referee’s mind up when he went to ground again after the break.
The talkSPORT pundit said: “People get reputations and he’s diving too much.
— AG (@anthonygordon) April 24, 2022
“He’s a great player by the way. I really like him, Anthony Gordon, he’s a super talent, but I’ve watched Everton so much this season and he does dive a lot – and this is within the same game!
“Because he’s got that lovely way about him, he’s got great balance, he can go both ways and he’s got a low centre of gravity, he does get fouled a lot.
“We’ve talked about this with Jack Grealish and they do go over too easily, but the argument is why shouldn’t they? Because if they don’t, you don’t get the penalties or the free-kicks. You can’t win.
“But, would he have got that penalty if he hadn’t have gone down in the first-half? Maybe yes.
“The fact is, it was a pen,” Murphy added.
“Again we talk about referees being able to take each incident in isolation, but that’s just not the way the world works.”
Ally McCoist agreed that it was a ‘stonewall penalty’ and should have been given by the referee, but that Gordon’s earlier fall did himself no favours.
“Absolutely no doubt, I can’t believe we’re having this conversation,” the Rangers legend told Monday’s talkSPORT Breakfast show.
“It’s a penalty, it’s 100 per cent a penalty, they [Everton] should have been given the penalty.
“After the game, maybe he was influenced by Gordon diving in the first half, which he did do, but I also think there was contact there by the way.
“I thought the penalty decision was shocking, stonewall penalty.
“But I don’t think he did himself any favours by diving.”
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