Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s Controversial Red Card Sparks Outrage as Everton Forces FA Cup Replay Against Crystal Palace
Dominic Calvert-Lewin, in an FA Cup third-round encounter against Crystal Palace, incurred the first red card of his career in a manner fraught with controversy. Despite a rather unremarkable 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park on Thursday night, the pivotal talking point emerged during the second half. VAR intervention followed by referee Chris Kavanagh’s decision led to the 26-year-old England international receiving a straight red card for a studs-up challenge on Nathaniel Clyne in the 76th minute.
Upon scrutiny through replays, it became apparent that the level of contact was minimal, with Calvert-Lewin’s boot merely grazing the shin of the right-back, the ex-Sheffield United striker’s action deemed reckless nonetheless. This decision elicited surprise, particularly from former Arsenal and Chelsea star Lianne Sanderson, who expressed her discontent by terming it an “absolute joke.” Sanderson asserted that neither the players on the field nor she deemed it worthy of a red card.
Offering his perspective, commentator Sam Matterface acknowledged the potential risk associated with the positioning of Calvert-Lewin’s foot and the visible studs. However, he contended that there appeared to be insufficient force in the challenge. Sanderson interjected, emphasizing the lack of malice in the tackle and the tendency for incidents to appear more severe when slowed down.
Teammate Seamus Coleman defended Calvert-Lewin, asserting that, from his viewpoint, it was a “great tackle.” He expressed uncertainty about assigning blame but noted the likelihood of a red card once the referee consulted the pitchside monitor. Coleman deemed it a significant talking point and, like Sanderson, disputed the decision as not warranting a red card.
Everton manager Sean Dyche hinted at the possibility of appealing the red card. Unfortunately for Crystal Palace, despite the numerical advantage, they failed to capitalize, resulting in a replay at Goodison Park to determine progression to the fourth round of the FA Cup.