Aston Villa boss Dean Smith described the decision to award Man Utd a penalty as “pathetic”, and cited several examples involving the two clubs that have all gone the Red Devils’ way.
Aston Villa slipped to defeat despite going into the break one goal to the good against Man Utd. Bertrand Traore had put the hosts in front at Villa Park, but the Red Devils fought back in classic fashion, notching three unanswered goals to emerge with all three points.
The defeat was marred by Ollie Watkins receiving his marching orders for a second bookable offence in the game’s dying embers.
The lively frontman appeared to go to ground too early in anticipation of contact from Dean Henderson resulting in a second yellow card for simulation. However, certain replay angles did show faint contact between the two players.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Smith said: “The first five minutes we didn’t start very well but then played really well in the first half, high-pressed them and got a deserved goal. The penalty decision affected us more than it did them.”
Regarding Man Utd’s penalty after Douglas Luiz felled Paul Pogba, Smith said: “I don’t think anybody knows, everybody is confused how Raheem Sterling can go through and have four or five touches on him last night and not get a penalty, then one touch here and it is a penalty.
“It looked a pathetic decision to me, but he goes down, similar to Old Trafford and last season here.
Smith berates entire refereeing process
Reacting angrily to his striker’s red card, Smith added: “Ollie Watkins has got sent off for a second yellow.
“There is no way the referee can tell me he is convinced he hasn’t been touched. I just don’t understand the decision-making of the officials and more importantly at Stockley Park.
“It looks like now he has to get hurt to win the penalty – is it enough contact for a penalty, no.”