Everton managed to scrape a controversial point against fellow struggling side Crystal Palace last weekend as the two clubs played out a 2-2 draw at Selhurst Park. The biggest talking point following the match has surrounded Everton's first goal.
Palace defender Scott Dann was seen to have brought down Everton forward Oumar Niasse in the penalty area by referee Anthony Taylor and Leighton Baines tucked away the resulting penalty to draw the Toffees level for the first time in the match.
Many were left baffled by the decision who thought it seemed clear that Niasse had dived to earn Everton the penalty.
Niasse unbelievable dive for penalty— Philip Neville (@fizzer18) November 18, 2017
Scott Dann, who conceded the penalty, has not held back on commenting on what he saw as a clear dive from Niasse. "He [Niasse] has conned the referee," said Dann (via ESPN). "I don't like to see people getting punished but also I don't like people diving to win penalties.
"If there was [contact] it was minimal. I haven't tried to tackle him; he has gone past me and you can see on the replays he has dived."
Everton equalise Palace’s early goal from a penalty following a blatant dive by Niasse.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) November 18, 2017
Palace will feel aggrieved that they have been robbed a vital three points. The Eagles are at the bottom of the Premier League table with just one win all season.
If found guilty of diving, Niasse could face retrospective punishment and may receive a two match ban. But Niasse himself believes that it will not come that and has insisted that he did not dive.
"People were saying that I fell down easily," said Niasse (via the Liverpool Echo). "I don't know. I didn't see the video again. To get into the box, I tried to dribble the guy; he was coming into contact."
"When I felt the contact, I knew then he pushed me away. The contact was on my upper body but when I felt the contact I was in the box so that is it: that is all I have to do, go on the floor. It was because I was running so quick."
A ban for Niasse could spell disaster for Everton, who are just starting to see some improved results under caretaker boss David Unsworth. The Senegalese forward has scored five league goals this season, including Everton's second to earn at point against Crystal Palace.
But Niasse himself believes he will not be banned. "I will be shocked [if I am charged with diving] because there is contact."