Aston Villa manager Dean Smith calls Manchester United’s penalty 'pathetic'

At the start of the second half, Douglas Luiz was adjudged to have fouled Paul Pogba in the box and Bruno Fernandes scored from the spot to start United’s fightback.

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith in a file photo; Credit: Aston Villa Twitter
By Karthik Raman | May 9, 2021 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us


Aston Villa manager Dean Smith called the decision to award Manchester United a penalty as “pathetic” after Aston Villa lost 1-3 to the Red Devils in the Premier League on Saturday. At the start of the second half, Douglas Luiz was adjudged to have brought down Paul Pogba in the penalty box. Bruno Fernandes scored from the spot to start United’s fightback as the Reds from Manchester came from a goal behind to secure all three points. The defeat leaves Aston Villa in 11th spot with 48 points.

Earlier, things looked to be going in Aston Villa’s favour when Bertrand Traore scored a beautiful goal from the edge of the box in the first half. But the penalty at the beginning of the second period allowed United to equalise before Mason Greenwood and Edinson Cavani scored a goal each to seal the three points for the visitors. Speaking to Sky Sports, Dean Smith said, “I think the penalty decision affected us more than them, they got the opportunity to go and score and got their second after.”

“I have no idea [if it is the right decision], I don’t think anybody knows at the moment, everybody is confused that Raheem Sterling can have four or five touches on his backside, go down, and not get a penalty, when we’ve got people at Stockley Park watching it again.”

“And then there’s one touch, they [Pogba] go down, and it is a penalty. I think the whole of the footballing world is confused at the moment. It looked a pathetic decision to me: was that enough for him to go down? No. But he goes down. Similar to at Old Trafford, similar to last season here.”

Watkins’ red card

Things went from bad to worse for Villa when Ollie Watkins received his second yellow in the game’s dying minutes. He was booked for what appeared to be a simulation when he tried to get the ball ahead of Dean Henderson.

“Ollie Watkins has got sent off at the end for a second yellow – there’s no way that he can tell me he’s convinced he hasn’t been touched, because nobody knows if he’s been touched, apart from the two players. I just don’t understand the decision-making of the officials at the moment, and more important, Stockley Park, when they are looking at it slowly,” he added.

“It looks like now he’s going to have to get hurt to win the penalty. He touches it past the goalkeeper: is it enough for Ollie to go down? No, but it isn’t enough for Pogba to go down.”



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