Pundit reminds red-carded Aston Villa boss Dean Smith how they got away with one against Sheffield United

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith was last night sent off for arguing with officials after his ide had gone 1-0 down to a controversial Manchester City goal.

Thursday, 21st January 2021, 12:33 pm

Bernardo Silva’s opener, in what would eventualy be a 2-0 win for City, drew fury from Smith after Rhodri had come from an offside position to dispossess Tyrone Mings in the build-up.

Smith was gven a yellow card and then a red and he revealed on BT Sports after the match what had prompted officials to send him off.

The Villa boss told BBC: “It was a farcical decision. I've not seen a goal like that given. It needs to be looked at. I don't think anyone in this stadium thought it was a goal.

Sign up to our Sheffield United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Referee Jonathan Moss (R) shows a red card to Aston Villa's head coach Dean Smith (L) during the Premier League football match between Manchester City and Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester (Photo by SHAUN BOTTERILL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

"I thought they would go over to the VAR screen. I saw the incident and saw it was kicking off, so I asked the fourth officials did they get juggling balls for Christmas.”

It’s another example of Smith seemingly forgetting that it could be fairly argued Villa owe their place in the top flight, after a mistake in the goal-line technology denied Sheffield United a victory when football resumed after the first coronavirus lockdown last year. Smith’s side escaped relegation by a single point.

Villa goalkeeper Ørjan Nyland had clearly carried an Ollie Norwood cross over the line but a failure by ‘Hawkeye’ meant no goal was awarded, with referee Michael Oliver pointing to the fact that he wasn’t alerted by the system.

Orjan Nyland of Aston Villa catches the ball over the line as players react to the referee during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Sheffield United at Villa Park on June 17, 2020 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Paul Ellis/Pool via Getty Images)

A former Premier League player, while offering sympathy to Smith, reminded the Villa manager of that point.

Speaking as a pundit on Talksport, ex-Spurs midfielder Jamie O’Hara said: "I definitely feel it was unfair on Dean Smith. It's the heat of the moment and that's where refs need to keep their cool as well and say, 'listen, it's up for interpretation, we'll have a chat about it afterwards, it's gone now, it's done and you have to get one with it.' He has to suffer it.

"Last season Aston Villa got a great call that went their way and kept them in the league, so it can even its way out. I feel for Dean, it was such a brilliant game and it was one of the first teams to go there and really have a go at Man City."

SPECIAL OFFER: By subscribing to The Star’s sports-only digital package you help us to continue providing the best coverage of Sheffield United. Until February 1 there’s 20% off a year’s subscription, taking you through what is expected to be a busy transfer window. All the details are HERE, just use the promo code TRANSFER20.