Dermot Gallagher insists Leeds United and Liam Cooper could have fared even worse with refereeing decisions against Everton
Dermot Gallagher has assessed the two contentious refereeing decisions in Leeds United's draw against Everton - and says Whites captain Liam Cooper could have had few complaints if seeing red.
Cooper was eventually adjudged to have held back Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin via a shirt pull as Calvert-Lewin looked to latch on to a cross midway through the first half.
Referee Darren England initially waved play on but was then instructed by the game's video assistant referee Kevin Friend to check the incident on his monitor.
After several viewings, England returned to point to the spot and Cooper was booked before Calvert-Lewin slammed home his penalty to put the Toffees 1-0 up.
Cooper later expressed his disappointment at the decision, but former referee Gallagher says England made the right call and could even have sent Cooper off.
Speaking on Ref Watch on Sky Sports News, Gallagher was asked if Cooper could have seen red for the incident and said: "Possibly. I think what saved him is the referee felt he (Calvert-Lewin) wasn't in possession of the ball.
"What you can argue is that if he wasn't being held, would he be able to gain possession of the ball and I think that was the grey area that kept him on the field.
"But if he got sent off for denying a goalscoring opportunity I don't think he could have had a lot of cause for complaint. I think it's definitely a penalty."
After Calvert-Lewin had converted from the spot, Leeds drew level four minutes before the break through Mateusz Klich.
Demarai Gray then put the Toffees back ahead shortly after the restart but a stunning strike from Raphinha sealed a 2-2 draw.
Leeds finished the game on the attack and Whites striker Patrick Bamford was left appealing for a Leeds penalty deep into second half stoppage time after going to ground following a tangle with Yerry Mina as both players looked to connect to a high cross.
The incident was also checked by VAR but Leeds were denied a late spot kick and Gallagher felt the Bamford and Mina incident was not comparable to the Cooper and Calvert-Lewin episode in the first half and not a penalty.
"I don't think this one is the same foul," argued Gallagher.
"The players are intertwined together.
"I think in the first one, Cooper without doubt wraps his arms around Calvert-Lewin.
"In this one I think Bamford is going into Yerry Mina and I think they are both culpable."
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Thank you Laura Collins