Koeman hints Schneiderlin sent off to level things up

Midfielder shown a harsh second yellow after Man City’s Kyle Walker sent off in first half

Morgan Schneiderlin was shown a harsh second yellow for a challenge on Sergio Aguero in the closing stages of Everton’s 1-1 draw with Manchester City. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

Ronald Koeman suggested the referee, Bobby Madley, evened up his dismissal of Manchester City's Kyle Walker by also showing Everton's Morgan Schneiderlin a red card in the 1-1 draw between the sides at the Etihad Stadium.

Wayne Rooney’s 200th Premier League goal gave the visitors a 35th-minute lead before two yellow cards in quick succession just before the break led to Walker’s dismissal. The second of these came when the right-back was adjudged to have elbowed the Everton centre-forward, Dominic Calvert-Lewin. It appeared a harsh decision and Pep Guardiola was incensed.

Duncan Ferguson, the Everton assistant coach, had remonstrated with the fourth official, Michael Oliver, regarding Walker's challenge and this may have influenced Madley.

Pep Guardiola and Kyle Walker remonstrate with fourth official Michael Oliver after the fullback’s sending off. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty

Guardiola was seen in lengthy discussion with Oliver at half-time.

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Schneiderlin was sent off in the 88th minute after the substitute Raheem Sterling had equalised. The midfielder, who had been booked early in the game, slid in on Sergio Agüero; while he took the ball the manner of the challenge was viewed as reckless by Madley. Schneiderlin was furious with Agüero, believing he had play-acted to ensure the red card.

Asked if this was his view, Koeman implied Madley felt he had to even up his earlier decision. “I was in a better position for the second yellow of Walker and he played the ball. But away at City, sending off a player of City and you know what the referee will do then,” said the Everton manager, although he stated he did not feel hard done by.

“No, no. It was a great match, a lot of intensity and a lot of battles. It is Premier League and we know it is football and you need to stop those tackles, the bad ones, but I didn’t see one bad tackle tonight.”

A visibly frustrated Guardiola refused to be drawn on Walker’s red card or his chat with Oliver.

“Next question, please. I am not going to talk about the referee. It was so clear,” the City manager said. “We make a meeting and say we cannot speak with [ABOUT]the referees.”

Rooney's goal was his second in successive games since he rejoined his boyhood club in the summer and the 31-year-old is now hopeful of an England recall. He last played against Scotland on 11 November and Gareth Southgate has left him out of his last two squads. "We will see," said Rooney .

“I am sure I am focused on Everton but I am sure I’ll speak to Gareth Southgate over the next few days. We will have a conversation and see what happens.”

Speaking of his goal, the former Manchester United captain said: “To score my 200th Premier League goal today in such an important game for us, with tough games coming up, it was a sweet moment and I am sure the red half of Manchester will have enjoyed it as well.”

Statistics showed Rooney ran 11km, further than any of his team-mates. “It is not bad for someone who is not fit any more and can’t get about the pitch,” said the player.

“I have always put a shift in for the team and tonight is no different.”

Guardiola admitted that once again City were unable to finish enough of the copious chances they created.

“I prefer to win the game,” he said. “We want to start good at home. We had chances again. They had one on the target. They scored a goal. All we can do is try and make the chances.

“We try to win the game at half-time even though we played 10 against 11 [until near the end].”

(Guardian service)