Jarrad Branthwaite calls for refereeing change after ‘blatant’ error against Everton
The young defender spoke after the clash between the Blues and Liverpool in the Merseyside derby on Saturday
Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite admits he doesn’t know how Liverpool’s Ibrahima Konate escaped being sent off in the Merseyside Derby for what he believed was a “clear” second booking.
Referee Craig Pawson dismissed Everton’s Ashley Young on 37 minutes for a second yellow card of the game but failed to do the same when Konate – who had already been booked for dragging Amadou Onana to the turf – conceded a free-kick for pulling down Blues substitute Beto in the second half. Branthwaite said: “Beto went past Konate who is on a yellow already, he takes him down and it’s clear. I don’t know how it’s not a second yellow card.
“He’s gone right through the middle of the pitch, it’s one v one, it’s a blatant yellow but he hasn’t given it so we can’t do anything about that now. That’s the problem, there’s no consistency throughout the refereeing.
“If he gets sent off, it’s back to a level playing field and probably a different game but we’re down to 10 men and against it all game because of the decision he hasn’t given to award the second yellow for Konate and we’re up against it for the rest of the match.”
Branthwaite was less decisive about the VAR decision to award Liverpool a penalty but acknowledged it was another call that followed a pattern throughout the afternoon. He said: “I haven’t seen it back so I can’t say but he’s that close to the ball, he can’t do anything about it. That’s what I saw when it was life but it looks like a soft foul and another decision that has gone against us.
“It was disappointing in the end I think. Up to 65 minutes, I think we defended really well.
“Obviously going down to 10 men didn’t help us but I thought we dug in there as a team and the decisions went against us today. That’s something that we as a team look at, we gave it our best when we went down to 10 men and we’ve got to hold our head up high to what we showed out there.”
Despite the defeat, Branthwaite, who was the youngest of seven players in the Everton side who made their Merseyside Derby debuts (along with Ashley Young, Jack Harrison, James Garner, Arnaut Danjuma, Beto, and Youssef Chermiti) believes his team-mates should try and look to the positives from the game. He said: “I think we created a few chances at the start of the game and kept a good shape. We always knew it was going to be difficult coming here, they’re a good team and I think we’ve got to take the positives from what we’ve done out there.
“We’ve got to take confidence from what we’ve done to take into the next game. This game is done now and we can’t do anything about it, like I said, the decisions went against us and we’ve got to keep our heads high going into the next game with full belief in what we can do.
“We showed character out there not to go under. It’s a difficult place to come, especially when you’re in the derby.
“We’ve got to take real confidence in what we’ve shown as a team, as a group, our team shape. It was a nice moment for me to play in my first Merseyside Derby but I’m just looking forward to the next game now to rectify what we’ve done today.
“It showed our mentality (the way in which Everton battled with 10 men), it’s something that the manager goes on about a lot, to have a good mentality and keep fighting to the end, to keep being aggressive in your tackles and keep winning your duels. We did that with 10 men right until the end so we’ve got to hold our heads up high.”