Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross.

The Toffees’ midfielder apologised after the game for his actions after the game, but may face a retrospective ban as referee Mark Halsey missed the incident.

The Belgian went on to bemoan the lack of protection players receive from officials, a stance that team-mate Distin reiterated:

“It’s wrestling, it was tough. It was difficult to run through, they just catch you all the time and grab you.” He is quoted by The Metro.

“I think the ref could have a better look at it. But that is football and it’s going to happen when you come to a place like Stoke.”

The French defender went on to call upon an incident in which his team conceded a penalty against Manchester City as a prime example of the issue:

“There is just no consistency. That is the problem as a player. Sometimes you get grabbed or blocked and it is not a penalty.

‘Then you see what happened against City when the ref gave them a penalty, and you think ‘there should be a penalty every week’.

‘There is no consistency so it’s a bit frustrating when it’s not going your way.”