Everton certainly made a nuisance of themselves during the Merseyside derby on Sunday.
Liverpool grew frustrated within the opening minutes at Anfield as it became painfully apparent that their neighbours from across Stanley Park would be making life incredibly awkward for them.
Frank Lampard seemed to be following in the footsteps of his former manager Jose Mourinho in leading Everton through a cagey and bullish performance designed to keep Liverpool at bay.
Everton make life hard for Liverpool
With Jordan Pickford shamelessly time-wasting and Richarlison repeatedly hitting the deck, Jurgen Klopp’s men really had to dig deep in order to grind down Everton’s fatiguing tactics.
In the end, the hosts achieved exactly that with Andrew Robertson and Divock Origi both finding the net in the final 30 minutes to ensure that Liverpool got the better of Everton’s cheeky tricks.
Nevertheless, Lampard and Everton still had reason to feel frustrated about Liverpool taking the win because it wasn’t without moments of controversy.
As with any high-octane clash in the Premier League, there are incidents where the whim of either the VAR or referee can completely change the direction of the game.
Liverpool 2-0 Everton Match Reaction (Football Terrace)
Lampard addresses controversial incidents
And you only had to look at Lampard’s post-match interviews to see his frustration with a number of flash points, including Antony Gordon’s penalty appeal and the first-half fracas between both squads.
Firstly, Lampard argued that the potential spot-kick at 0-0 could well have been given if it was Mohamed Salah at the other end, hinting that a degree of unconscious bias might have been at play.
Then, the Everton boss noted that there were “questionable things going on” when Everton and Liverpool players clashed with many fans believing that Sadio Mane should have been sent off.
All in all, you really got the feeling that Lampard thought a few key decisions went against his Everton side, so be sure to check out his post-match musings down below:
🗣 "If you look back with that on VAR, there's questionable things going on, maybe that's to be expected when you come here [Anfield]."— Football Daily (@footballdaily) April 24, 2022
Frank Lampard had his say on Everton's penalty shout and a potential red card for Sadio Mane pic.twitter.com/XI5aXZ3mp9
👀"I don't think you get them here"— SPORF (@Sporf) April 24, 2022
😬"If that's Mo Salah at the other end, I think he gets the penalty."
🗣️Frank Lampard has his say on the decisions that didn't go @Everton's way this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/UurdmtJ7MF
Food for thought, that’s for sure.
Gordon takes to Twitter
And it wasn’t just the Everton coach that caught the eye on social media once the final whistle had blown at Anfield because Gordon himself made reference to the potential penalty that went unawarded.
The Toffees youngster shared a video of the incident in which Joel Matip appears to be push him to the ground on his official Twitter page with two facepalm emojis, which, frankly, speaks for itself.
🤦🏼♂️🤦🏼♂️ pic.twitter.com/iDvHpMDlrb— AG (@anthonygordon) April 24, 2022
Regardless of whether or not you think Everton should have been given a penalty, you can certainly understand why both Lampard and Gordon will have thought that a spot-kick was warranted.
However, perhaps there is credence to the theory that Gordon’s booking for simulation earlier in the game had been on the back of the officials’ minds when he once again hit the turf.
And those are the kinds of small margins on which Premier League games can be decided with Everton finding out the hard way that it takes more than s***housery to get a result at Anfield.