Smith: Villa deserved to stay up so people can say what they like about our ‘ghost goal’ controversy
Dean Smith, who will give a debut to goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez tonight, has insisted that last season’s Hawk-Eye controversy did not save Aston Villa from relegation.
Martinez will start the season as Smith’s new No1 after his £20million move from Arsenal, with Sheffield United returning to Villa Park for the first time since the infamous “ghost goal” moment.
United were furious in June after the Hawk-Eye goal-line system failed – Oliver Norwood’s free-kick was bundled over the line by Orjan
Nyland but seven cameras failed to pick up the incident and referee Michael Oliver did not receive a signal on his watch to indicate a goal.
The match ended in a 0-0 draw, with Hawk-Eye offering an unreserved apology after the match.
Five weeks later, Villa avoided the drop by just one point but, ahead of the rematch, Smith claims his team deserved to stay up.
“There is no asterisk next to our name over last season and people can say what they want about the goal,” the Villa head coach said. “We stayed
Looking ahead: Dean Smith is confident Aston Villa will not be in a relegation battle