GARY NEVILLE has claimed Ben Godfrey purposely studded Arsenal star Takehiro Tomiyasu in the FACE.
The incident occurred in the first-half of Everton’s 2-1 win over the Gunners with the match goalless.
Ben Godfrey escaped punishment after landing on Takehiro Tomiyasu’s face
Tomiyasu was left with a cut on his face but played the rest of the matchCredit: Getty
But Mike Dean judged Godfrey to have accidentally stepped on Tomiyasu’s face after watching a replay on the VAR monitor.
Slow-motion replays seemed to show Godfrey was not looking at his opponent when he landed but Neville argues the action was committed on purpose.
He said on Sky Sports’ coverage of the game: “As a professional, he 100% means that.
“I can see why VAR has said it is accidental, we couldn’t prove it but as a professional he meant it but I can see why it is not a red.”
However, former Premier League referee Mark Halsey had a different view of the incident.
He argues the decision could have been given either way regarding a possible red card, suggesting VAR Stuart Atwell did not believe Dean had made a clear and obvious error.
Halsey told SunSport: “Godfrey clashed with Tomiyasu but I don’t believe it was a red card.
“The Arsenal right-back was on the floor when Godfrey accidentally landed on Tomiyasu’s face.
“I’m not sure referee Mike Dean saw the incident but VAR official Stuart Attwell had to check whether it was an act of violent conduct.
“I don’t think it was a stamp, I felt Godfrey had nowhere else to put his foot down.
“It was a pure accident and not a deliberate act.
“It’s not a serious foul play challenge as such so excessive force and brutality are not factors in this case.
“Godfrey did not look in the direction of the Gunners right-back when his foot connected with Tomiyasu.
“I can imagine die-hard Arsenal fans would have wanted disciplinary action but this was a subjective decision and Attwell clearly felt it was not a clear and obvious error by Dean.”
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