Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin was controver-sially sent off as his side held on for a 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace in the FA Cup third round.Calvert-Lewin saw red after a VAR review of the England striker’s studs-up foul on Nathaniel Clyne late in the second half at Selhurst Park.Calvert-Lewin made only slight contact with Clyne’s leg while winning the ball and Everton boss Sean Dyche was furious with the decision by referee Chris Kavanagh after a long VAR check.
The first red card of Calvert-Lewin’s career could have been fatal to Everton’s hopes of progressing in the competition. They also lost winger Dwight McNeil to a serious-looking injury in the closing stages, but Dyche’s team held on through nine minutes of stoppage-time to force a replay at Goodison Park later in January.
“The slow motion shows a different picture. If you want to slow mo everything, you have to slow mo everything,” Dyche said of VAR being used to de-cide Calvert-Lewin’s fate.“There’s minor contact, in live time he doesn’t give anything, then they slow it down and everything looks worse slow.
“Even down to 10 men, I thought the mentality was excellent. We showed that tonight with another good performance.” Five-time FA Cup winners Everton last lifted the trophy in 1995 and have been searching in vain for another piece of major silverware ever since.
Hit by a 10-point deduction for financial breaches earlier this season, fourth bottom Everton are mired in a Premier League relegation battle.An FA Cup run would be a welcome distraction from their league travails and they can still dream of the road to Wembley thanks to this gritty display.