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Everton boosts survival hopes with win over struggling Nottingham Forest

Everton celebrate Everton - The Canadian Press

LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Nottingham Forest appeared to question the integrity of a match official in a social media post published soon after a 2-0 loss at relegation rival Everton in the Premier League on Sunday.

Precise shots that flew in off the post by Idrissa Gana Gueye in the 29th minute and Dwight McNeil in the 76th clinched a crucial victory at Goodison Park for Everton, which boosted its survival hopes in a bid to preserve its 70-year stay in the top division.

Soon after the match, a post from Forest's official account on X, formerly Twitter, criticized the failure to award the visitors a penalty.

“Three extremely poor decisions — three penalties not given — which we simply cannot accept,” the post said.

Forest said it warned the referees' body ahead of the game that the person overseeing the video review for the match “is a Luton fan." Luton is in third-to-last place, a position and one point below Forest.

“Our patience has been tested multiple times,” the post continued. “(Nottingham Forest) will now consider its options.”

A former Premier League referee, Mark Clattenburg, is working as a consultant for Forest this season and was at Goodison Park for the match.

Everton is in fifth-to-last place and moved five points clear of the relegation zone with five games remaining. Forest is a place lower — though all of this could change.

Both teams have lodged appeals after being docked points in recent weeks for breaching the league’s financial rules. Everton, which had already been hit with a six-point deduction, is appealing against being handed a further two-point hit while Forest has appealed against its four-point deduction.

Forest appeared most aggrieved after an incident in the 44th minute when Everton full back Ashley Young's right arm blocked a header back into the six-yard box. Players on the field and backroom staff appealed furiously, but the VAR did not award a penalty.

By then, Gana Gueye had given Everton the lead after collecting a clearing header and driving a low shot in off the post from outside the area.

McNeil's was a similar strike, though from slightly further out and hit more powerfully after a run from near halfway.

In stoppage time, Forest's Morgan Gibbs-White and Everton substitute Beto clashed heads. Beto came off worse and was carried off on a stretcher — though he raised his hand and gave a thumbs-up to the crowd after being tended to by medical staff.


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