Smith fu­ri­ous at ‘dis­grace­ful’ fail­ure to re­verse spot-kick

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport | Premier League - By James Ducker

Dean Smith launched a scathing at­tack on the video as­sis­tant ref­eree af­ter con­demn­ing as “dis­grace­ful” the fail­ure to over­turn Manch­ester United’s con­tro­ver­sial penalty.

The As­ton Villa man­ager was con­vinced Var Graham Scott was go­ing to over­turn ref­eree Jonathan Moss’s de­ci­sion and award his team a free-kick af­ter claim­ing the United mid­fielder, Bruno Fer­nan­des, had fouled his player, Ezri Konsa, not the other way around.

But Smith was shocked when Scott ap­proved the penalty and claimed the de­ci­sion proved the turn­ing point in the game as a third suc­ces­sive de­feat deep­ened Villa’s rel­e­ga­tion fears.

“It all changed around on the penalty de­ci­sion,” Smith said. “I can un­der­stand Jon get­ting it wrong, he’s on the pitch, but that goes to Var and I don’t know what they’re look­ing at. It’s a poor, poor de­ci­sion. Any­body who has been in foot­ball knows Fer­nan­des is try­ing a dou­ble drag-back and his first foot is on top of the ball and his next foot is on Ezri Konsa’s shin.”

Ole Gun­nar Solskjaer, the United man­ager, felt it was the right de­ci­sion. “If you try to tackle me, I jump over you and I land on you. I think that’s a foul.”

Villa face Crys­tal Palace at home on Sun­day, with Smith ad­mit­ting that all the matches were “must win” for his team now. “We’re run­ning out of games, we all know that, there’s only four to go but we’re not go­ing to be play­ing against Liverpool and Manch­ester United now. They will be tough games be­cause they’re in the Premier League but if we get back to the way we have been play­ing since we started we will win games.”

Solskjaer lauded Ma­son Green­wood af­ter the 18-year-old striker scored his 16th goal of the sea­son. “It’s all down to him,” Solskjaer said. “He can go as far as he wants to. How far can he go? Very [far].”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.