Dean Smith insists the officials were the only people inside the Etihad who thought Manchester City’s opening goal should have stood in Aston Villa’s 2-0 defeat.
Bernardo Silva broke the deadlock in the 79th minute in controversial fashion after Villa had put in a resolute display.
Silva scored his first Premier League goal of the seasonGetty Images – Getty
Rodri came from an offside position to tackle Tyrone Mings, before eventually playing the ball to Silva, who superbly slotted past Emiliano Martinez.
However, Mings’ ‘deliberate’ play for the ball meant the goal stood, correctly according to the laws of the game, which left Smith seething as he was sent off by referee Jon Moss for dissent.
Mings wrote on Twitter afterwards: “Never even heard of that rule, just let players stand offside, then run back and tackle you?
“In hindsight I should’ve cleared it, 100 per cent, but didn’t even know that was the case. Nonsense.”
Never even heard of that rule, just let players stand offside, then run back & tackle you? In hindsight I should’ve cleared it, 100%, but didn’t even know that was the case. Nonsense https://t.co/2UiFEV9eqH
— Tyrone Mings (@OfficialTM_3) January 20, 2021
Villa’s luck did not change when Matty Cash was penalised for handball inside the box as Ilkay Gundogan scored the resulting penalty in the 90th minute.
Aston Villa boss Smith was ‘flummoxed by the nature of the goals’.
He said: “I would expect my players to put the ball in the back of the net as well, so it’s nothing against Manchester City players at all.
Smith was initially shown a yellow card, before his punishment was upgraded to a redGetty Images – Getty
“I just don’t understand the ruling. If somebody is offside and they’re taking advantage of that offside position by tackling from behind, then surely that’s offside?
“I don’t think there’s anyone in this stadium apart from the officials who think that’s a goal. That’s why we’re so frustrated.
“Manchester City had a lot of chances, they’re a good team and we never broke their possession up as good as we normally do.
“I thought we started the second-half really slowly, but they missed the chances. They didn’t put the ball in the back of the net and we got some really good blocks in.
“Our goalkeeper made some really good saves. So to lose the game on two decisions like that is very tough to take.”
Moss had initially brandished a yellow card to Dean, before quickly upgrading the punishment to a red.
Smith believes he was treated differently to other managers in that situation.
Smith reckons other Premier League managers would not have been treated the same when he was sent offAFP
He added: “It certainly wasn’t [for swearing]. There’s nothing that can get censored.
“I asked the fourth official if they’d had juggling balls for Christmas and he [the referee] produced a yellow card and said he was doing his interpretation of the laws of the game.
“I said, ‘well you should have started that earlier in the game’.
“I think I got treated differently to other managers there because if any other manager actually says anything there, I don’t think they get sent off for that at all.”
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