Everton suffered their 12th league defeat of the campaign at the hands of Watford on Saturday, with Andre Gray’s 65th-minute strike proving to be difference.
Manager Marco Silva’s return to Vicarage Road didn’t go quite well as he would have wanted, and defender Kurt Zouma made matters worse by picking up two successive yellow cards within the space of few seconds for dissent after fulltime.
The French defender was irked with referee’s Lee Probert decision to award the corner that eventually led to the Hornets’ goal, although it appeared that Jordan Pickford hadn’t touched the ball.
Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg believes Probert should have handed an Everton a goal-kick since he wasn’t sure it was a corner-kick in Watford’s favour, but he reckons Zouma overstepped the bounds by complaining having already been booked seconds earlier.
“Everton’s Kurt Zouma was sent off for a second yellow card after the full-time whistle at Watford because of dissent. His gripe was clearly with the Watford winner, which came after Lee Probert awarded a corner even though it was unclear if goalkeeper Jordan Pickford had touched the ball,” Clattenburg told Sportsmail.
“Let us make one thing clear – if a referee has any doubt in cases such as this, then we are always educated to award a goal-kick. Why? If you give a goal-kick and it is later proven to be the incorrect call, everyone will soon forget about it because the consequences of the decision are likely to be minimal. However, incorrectly award a corner and it leads to a goal, they will forever be showing replays and highlighting the mistake.
“As for the second yellow, Zouma must have said something out of turn because I have known Probert for many years and he does not caution many players for dissent. Also, Zouma ran a long way to make his point in the face of the referee and, knowing he was already on a yellow, he cannot complain after being sent off.”
Zouma is suspended for Everton’s next match against Cardiff City, and will only be eligible to play on March 3 when they host city rivals Liverpool in the Merseyside derby.