Ref gets Koeman backing

Everton boss Ronald Koeman says the referee got it right as a controversial goal earned his side a 1-1 draw at Stoke last night.

Everton: Ref gets Koeman backingEverton: Ref gets Koeman backing

The home side went ahead after just 12 minutes when Peter Crouch bagged his 100th Premier League goal, but the Blues fought back to take a point, albeit in controversial circumstances.

Everton levelled in the 39th minute through a goal it initially appeared would not be awarded, with the flag going up when Seamus Coleman struck the ball and it ended up in the net.

A few moments later referee Craig Pawson, after speaking to his assistant, signalled that it was a goal, and replays of the incident showed that, while Romelu Lukaku may have been in an offside position, it was not he but Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross who the ball had hit on its way in.

Koeman admitted he had sympathy with Hughes, but thought the correct decision had been made in the end.

“It’s difficult – I can understand Mark and the people of Stoke being disappointed, because it was strange,” the Dutchman said. “First everyone expected it was offside.

“I was watching the clip of the goal and then it’s easy – it’s a goal and a good, right, final decision from the referee. But it took time and that, I think, was difficult to understand.”

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