Frank Lampard claimed Everton were denied a blatant penalty at Anfield where a 2-0 defeat by Liverpool left his club in the relegation zone for the first time since December 2019.
Liverpool maintained their title challenge with second-half headers from Andy Robertson and the substitute Divock Origi but had to overcome an obstinate Everton.
In the 53rd minute, with the game goalless, Anthony Gordon went down in the Liverpool penalty area under an apparent push by Joël Matip. He retweeted footage of the incident along with two emojis expressing his disbelief. The referee, Stuart Attwell, who had booked Gordon for diving in the first half, awarded neither a spot-kick nor a second yellow card.
“It is a penalty for me,” said Lampard, who has lost all seven away matches as Everton manager. “You don’t get them here. If that was Mo Salah at the other end he gets a penalty. I’m not trying to create conflict; it’s just the reality of football. I have played in teams in the top half of the league – you get them. That was a penalty for sure. It’s a clear crowd.”
Everton, who dropped into the bottom three after Burnley beat Wolves, have six games remaining to avoid a first relegation since 1951. Lampard insisted his players could take heart from their Anfield display: “It was a good performance against a difficult opponent. You have seen their recent games – we had to have a plan to stop them getting space and for 60 minutes we did that as well as you can. We did it with great discipline and created the best chances until that point. But a moment of brilliance from Mo Salah and an overhead kick [from Luis Díaz to set up the second goal] are difficult to combat.”
Jürgen Klopp reserved praise for Origi after the striker’s sixth goal against Everton secured a victory that took Liverpool back to within a point of Manchester City at the top.
The Liverpool manager said: “He is a legend on and off the pitch. He is a fantastic footballer for me, and I know it sounds ridiculous as I don’t line him up often, he is a world-class striker. He is our best finisher definitely. He always was and everybody would say the same.
“When you see him do these kind of things in training, then you see the quality of the squad and other players and it’s really hard I imagine [for him].
“I have really hard decisions to make because the boys all want to contribute and are responsible for the situation we are in.
“Everybody loves Div and rightly so. He was again very decisive. I’m very, very happy for him.”