However, the game was marred by Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s 79th-minute sending-off – the first red card of his career.
Referee Chris Kavanagh dismissed Calvert-Lewin after reviewing the VAR monitor following the Englishman’s tackle on Nathaniel Clyne.
The ref saw nothing wrong with the tackle in real time as Calvert-Lewin won the ball, but Clyne rolling around on the floor prompted VAR into action.
Replays in slow-motion showed the Everton striker’s studs were up, but they barely made any contact with Clyne’s shin.
Toffees manager Sean Dyche could not believe the decision, and Calvert-Lewin was equally baffled.
The PGMOL owe Everton an apology, but whether the Goodison Park club will get one remains to be seen.
The organisation has already apologised more than 13 times to different clubs since the beginning of last season, with Arsenal receiving two of those.
The Gunners and their manager have also constantly demanded better from the PGMOL, backing Mikel Arteta after he slammed the officiating in their 1-0 loss to Newcastle United in November.
Arsenal have also complained to PGMOL over the rough treatment of Bukayo Saka by opponents.
The England international forward was the third-most fouled player in the Premier League in 2023 behind Crystal Palace’s Jordan Ayew and Newcastle United’s Bruno Guimaraes.
However, those clubs have not questioned PGMOL.
Arteta escaped punishment after claiming that calling the officiating in the 1-0 loss to the Magpies a ‘disgrace’ was not an insult as the word means something else in Spanish.
Dyche kept his emotions in check last night, but will Everton get the same respect from PGMOL as Arsenal after that unjust red card?
It could be argued that Calvert-Lewin’s challenge was ‘reckless’ and worthy of a caution, but it did not meet the criteria for ‘serious foul play’, and neither did it ‘endanger the safety of an opponent with excessive force or brutality’.
The slow-motion replays made it appear worse than it is, and Everton are expected to challenge the decision, but whether they will get the Arsenal treatment from PGMOL remains to be seen.
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