Roy Hodgson reckoned Everton’s foul count on his Crystal Palace side on Saturday harked back to his days in charge of Inter Milan in the mid 1990s.
The Toffees were penalised for 26 fouls in the 2-2 draw and only collected three bookings.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek was a focal point for niggling fouls as they prevented the on-loan Chelsea midfielder from surging forward with the ball.
“They got players around him – they are entitled to do that,” said Hodgson. “The last time I saw a game where there was such a regular amount of fouls – not vicious but fouls to break up the play – was when I was working at Inter. It happened to us on a regular basis because we were clearly better than the opposition. They just knocked us over every time we got beyond them.”
When told about the free-kick total against Everton, Hodgson replied: “Well, that’s enormous. An average of about 10 or 12 fouls in a Premier League game it is double.
“It wasn’t just him [Loftus-Cheek] being fouled. There were other players being fouled. It was the whole of our team.”
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