LIVERPOOL - Everton's David Moyes was unhappy the additional assistant referees (AARs) used during his team's Europa League win over AEK Athens on Thursday missed the key incident where they could have made a difference.
Everton opened their Group I campaign with an easy 4-0 win but the night was perhaps more significant because it heralded the era of AARs as European governing body UEFA's experiment of placing an extra official behind each goal got underway.
Everton's satisfaction with their performance at Goodison Park was soured by striker Louis Saha's injury-time dismissal for raising his hand to the face of AEK fullback Juanfran.
However, Juanfran appeared to kick out at the Frenchman in the lead-up to the incident although that was missed by referee Robert Malek and all of his assistants leading Everton manager Moyes to question how that could have happened.
"It's amazing that they see the small arm from Louis but not the big kick that was aimed at him beforehand despite all those officials in and around the box," Moyes told reporters. "It was disappointing because it was an outrageous kick on him.
"Maybe the extra officials were looking for something to do. But they were there and initially got it wrong, because not to see the kick on him was really poor."
Football bosses want to see if the extra officials can aid referees in crucial decisions such as diving in the area, shirt pulling and whether the ball has crossed the goal-line or not.
If AARs prove successful in the Europa League, which has this season replaced the UEFA Cup, they could be introduced for UEFA's flagship Champions League competition next term.
The two AARs at Goodison, Hubert Siejewicz and Pawel Gil, had very little to do during the match despite the second-half dismissals of AEK's Carlos Araujo and Saha.
First half goals from Joseph Yobo, Sylvain Distin and Steven Pienaar plus a late finish from Jo gave Everton victory.comments