Michael Oliver could trigger Sean Dyche rethink as early Everton transfer decision vindicated

VAR but what about the refs

On a day that Manchester City became the first team in 135 years of English top flight history to lift the title four seasons on the trot despite having no fewer than 115 PSR-related charges hanging over them, it was perhaps fitting that the same Premier League that had recommended that Everton be deducted 17 points this term, screwed them over one more time.

Premier League clubs are to vote whether or not to keep VAR while the controversial technology could have saved Everton here, Michael Oliver chose to be the big man on the big occasion and overrule it. Argentina had what Diego Maradona called 'The hand of God' against England in the 1986 World Cup but here it was (Gabriel) Jesus who set up Arsenal's late victory by leading into the ball and handling it to get past James Tarkowski.

It looked blatant and Stuart Attwell over at Stockley Park invited Oliver to take another look but the official who has been a so-called UEFA Elite Referee since 2018 stuck to his guns. Blues boss Dyche believes there's too much at stake financial to ditch VAR but what can you do when they spot something but the man-in-the-middle ignores it anyway?

READ MORE: Premier League confirm stance on latest Everton VAR chaos and Michael Oliver decision

READ MORE: What Everton did at Arsenal embarrassed Richard Masters again after latest wrong decision

Goal-getting Gana

Even before this game, Everton announced that they were taking up their option to retain Idrissa Gueye's services for a further season and it makes sense given the financial constraints at the club when it would take millions of pounds to replace him.

For the most part in this game, this was classic Gana, hurrying and harrying those around him in the thick of the midfield battle but while we've seen such industry from him ever since he first arrived at Goodison Park for his first stint back in 2016, the player who will turn 35 in September has become something of a late bloomer when it comes to scoring. These days it doesn't take much of a deflection to have a goal taken off you so hopefully the big slice the Everton man's effort took off Declan Rice en route to beating David Raya doesn't rob him of his latest strike.

Failing to find the net at all last term, this was already his most-prolific Everton season to date but if Gueye keeps this one, that's four for the campaign with three coming in the last month. Perhaps all those sessions alongside Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe paid off although the Senegalese international might struggle to convince the free agent latter to come and join him for Goodison's goodbye given the PSR restraints that still grip the club.

In the shop window

While Gueye is set to stay at Everton for another year, those well-documented financial issues that director of football Kevin Thelwell highlighted when he admitted before last weekend's final home game with Sheffield United that players will be sold has produced significant question marks over several others.

One of the biggest surely hangs over Amadou Onana's head. In terms of lucrative assets that the Blues could cash in on, the Belgium international remains one of the prime candidates.

Even though he's not been one of the first names on the team sheet like Jarrad Branthwaite, who Evertonians would be loathed to lose after an outstanding breakthrough season, Onana is known to have many high-profile admirers across both the Premier League and some of Europe's top clubs. Manager Sean Dyche insists he'll have his say on any potential exits and despite Onana's immense talent that you feel might blossom further if playing in a more-successful side, an exit feels like a potentially-reasonable proposition if the price is right.

So just like when he shone in a late cameo against Manchester City at the Etihad, when he came on and demanded the ball, Onana rose to the occasion here and just like he did against Arsenal at home last season in Dyche's first game in charge, produced one of his more-impressive displays in a royal blue jersey. There's a world-class midfielder in there waiting to burst out but you wonder whether it will be elsewhere.

Gunned down again in May

The sight of Arsenal legend Tony Adams standing pitchside in what can only be described as a 'baked bean' orange three-piece suit was a vivid reminder of Everton's previous woes in this fixture given that the centre-half once produced the coup de grace on Arsene Wenger's 'French Revolution' at the Gunners by netting the final goal in a 4-0 romp in 1998 on the day that they lifted the Premier League title.

This was the seventh time that Everton have played Arsenal in the Premier League in May but ultimately - despite their stirring efforts - it proved to be a seventh defeat and perhaps the most-cruel. Along with that aforementioned thrashing that sent Howard Kendall's side into a second 'Great Escape' in four years on the final day of the season, surviving on goal difference after a 1-1 draw at home to Coventry City, there was also a competition club record 7-0 mauling in 2005 just days after David Moyes' men celebrated a fourth-placed finish above their soon-to-be Champions League-winning neighbours Liverpool.

With Mikel Arteta's men having to win to have any chance of being champions, this was as difficult as any of those previous tests but despite what they might lack in quality at times, this Blues side are made of sterner stuff than many of their predecessors - especially in recent times. Sure they rode their luck as Arsenal surged forward and struck the woodwork on several occasions but only a dodgy decision cost them in the end but unlike with Premier League cartoons, you can't edit such errors out of the story of the season.