Owen Hargreaves is not convinced Slaven Bilic ‘deserved’ to be sent off at half-time after the West Bromwich Albion manager reacted angrily to Kieran Gibbs’ late first-half red card.
Gibbs was given his marching orders for hitting out at James Rodriguez – a matter of moments after he had put Everton in front on the stroke of half-time – and his manager followed suit for charging over to referee Mike Dean.
Dean kept telling the Croatian manager, ‘You need to go away,’ but Bilic was incensed at Dean not ‘checking the foul’ to confirm that it should be a red for Gibbs.
And former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves felt the manager was within his rights to approach Dean over the issue.
‘I think he has the right to ask the question,’ Hargreaves told BT Sport.
‘He’s saying check the foul, check the red card. He didn’t swear, he wasn’t rude. I think he just wanted to know. I’m not sure he deserved to be sent off.’
Former Chelsea ace Joe Cole added: ‘I think Mike lost his composure a little bit there but he’s well within his rights to do it. Passionate game, Slaven just coming up.
‘You can understand the frustration, he’s set his team up so well in that first half and in three incidents, it’s killed him.’
There was no debate over whether Gibbs deserved to be shown a red.
‘It’s not like him at all, it’s probably just frustration with conceding those two goals.
‘But you just can’t do that, you can’t put your hands to his face.’
Despite losing their left-back and their manager in quick succession, West Brom made a starting start to the second half as Matheus Pereira drew them level with a stunning free-kick.
However, Everton were quickly back in front as Michael Keane and Dominic Calvert-Lewin – who scored a hat-trick – got on the scoresheet.
The Baggies had initially taken the lead through a sweet Grady Diangana strike before Calvert-Lewin had levelled things up with a cute backheel.