Dean Smith puzzled by the VAR decision; rejects the threat of opponents to the Villa


Aston Villa manager Dean Smith was left bemused after admitting “I don’t know what a penalty is now.”

Villa succumbed to a 2-1 loss by the narrowest of margins in a thrilling clash with Brighton.

A free-kick goal from Ezri Konsa brought Villa back into the fight after Danny Welbeck’s opener. But Solly March’s marvelous strike sealed the three points midway through the second half.

As has become customary in the Premier League, there was a late VAR drama before the final whistle.

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Winger Trezeguet appears to have won a penalty when scorer March made contact with his shin in the box.

Referee Michael Oliver initially granted the kick, but on advice to check the field-side monitor, eventually overturned his decision after reruns showed March had first contacted the ball.

Speaking to the TBEN after the competition, Black-smith said: “I don’t know what a penalty is now. We could all hear the contact inside the ground.

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“If VAR thinks it’s not a penalty, just tell the referee it’s not a penalty. It was not given, so we have to take it on the chin.

“I don’t think we were bad. We missed chances and made big mistakes in their goals. We need to defend better.

“Brighton was a threat on the counter but I wasn’t too worried.

“I thought we were in control of the game and if we had given it a shot we would have won.”

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