Very lucky’ – Mike Dean hits out live on Sky Sports after Everton controversy v Fulham

Mike Dean has labelled Fulham goalkeeper “very lucky” after Everton saw a goal disallowed in their Premier League clash on Saturday 12 August at Goodison Park.

James Tarkowski was judged to have fouled the German before Michael Keane tapped home, but he was saved by the officials towards the end of the first half.

Dean was not happy with the decision and admitted that there was not enough contact for a foul to be given, with Everton hard done by, and they went on to lose 1-0 in the end.

Speaking live on Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday, Dean shared his view: “Me too, to be honest with you.

“There’s a slight movement by Tarkowski’s right arm, but not enough for a foul, in my opinion. I think the keeper is very lucky there.”


The Premier League appears to promise every single year that they will improve officiating, both on the pitch and with VAR, but that never happens.

Sean Dyche will not be happy at all with this decision, as it would have given the Toffees the lead they deserved completely at a critical time of the game.

Goalkeepers are protected far too much by officials, and any slight touch in the box will see players give away fouls for incidents that wouldn’t even get a second glance outside of the box.

Tarkowski is physical, everyone knows that but yet one of his most delicate actions was penalised, and we wonder why there are so many complaints around the league.

It made a massive difference in the end, with Bobby Reid scoring a second-half goal to condemn the Blues to an opening-day defeat – it should have been so different.

Bobby De Cordova-Reid gets Fulham off to winning start at wasteful Everton
The opening day of what is scheduled to be the final full season of Goodison Park’s existence turned into a sick joke for its regular inhabitants, and demonstrated a dereliction of duty by the Everton hierarchy yet again. Sean Dyche’s blunted side had the upper hand against Fulham but were punished for a profligate display as Bobby De Cordova-Reid’s second-half strike secured a third successive win in L4 for the visitors.

Marco Silva’s team had nine shots in total, two on target, compared to 19 efforts and nine on target from the hosts. But only Fulham had the clinical edge necessary at the highest level, and another struggle awaits Everton unless their forward line improves considerably before the transfer deadline.

You may have read the following before. Many times. Dominic Calvert-Lewin was deemed not fit enough for the match-day squad and so, given Everton’s inability to sign a proven alternative, Dyche had little option but to start Neal Maupay as a lone forward.

Maupay, who scored once from 32 shots in the Premier League last season, had enough chances to put Everton out of sight before half-time but was unable to take one. Bernd Leno may have been a formidable obstacle in the Fulham goal but there was a lack of conviction and quality to Maupay’s finishing that was all too familiar to an exasperated home support. It was last season’s attacking lowlights reel on repeat.

The former Brighton forward was close to giving Everton the lead on 35 seconds when racing in behind Tim Ream and shooting inches wide of the far post. He was presented with a clearer, gilt-edged opportunity when Abdoulaye Doucouré headed an Alex Iwobi centre back into the six-yard box. Completely unmarked and central, Maupay prodded a weak touch straight at Leno and Fulham escaped. The striker found himself one-on-one with Leno again when Amadou Onana, Everton’s most creative outlet, dissected the visiting defence with a perfect first-time pass. Fulham’s keeper saved comfortably again.

Bobby De Cordova-Reid’s close-range shot beats Jordan Pickford
Bobby De Cordova-Reid’s close-range shot beats Jordan Pickford. Photograph: Paul Greenwood/Shutterstock

Leno also denied Doucouré with an outstretched boot when a sweeping Everton move released last season’s relegation saviour through on goal. Iwobi and Nathan Patterson also missed decent chances before the break and Michael Keane had a goal disallowed after Leno dropped a cross at his feet. The referee, Stuart Attwell, penalised James Tarkowski for a foul on the commanding keeper.

With the lack of new faces – Ashley Young started at left-back, Arnaut Danjuma was on the bench and Friday’s signing Youssef Chermiti was in the directors’ box – improvement must come from within for Everton to avoid a third successive relegation battle. In that respect Dyche could be satisfied with his team’s solidity, energy and intent, while despairing at the end product.

A woeful afternoon in front of goal was encapsulated by Patterson hitting the crossbar from eight yards out when he had an open net to aim at following Leno’s fingertip save from Iwobi.

For the most part Fulham were subdued in comparison to Everton’s aggression and threat. Silva’s side broke crisply and dangerously throughout the first half without finding the final pass or shot to trouble Jordan Pickford. That changed when De Cordova-Reid replaced Willian at the interval and the visitors began to find gaps behind the home defence.

Raúl Jiménez was unlucky not to mark his Fulham debut with a goal when hooking Harry Wilson’s cross on to the base of Pickford’s right-hand post. De Cordova-Reid skied the rebound as Everton struggled to clear the danger. The substitute made no mistake with his next sight of goal.

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Aleksandar Mitrovic went down injured minutes after entering the fray as a second-half substitute. The Serbia international was about to be replaced with Carlos Vinícius when he signalled he wanted to continue, and justified the decision with a fine ball that released Andreas Pereira inside the Everton area.

Pereira, another substitute, swept a cross along the face of Pickford’s goal for the unmarked De Cordova-Reid to convert at the back post. De Cordova-Reid was close to adding a second while Mitrovic’s appeals for a handball by Tarkowski went unanswered. Everton pressed for an equaliser late on without ever convincing they were capable of conjuring one.

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