Dean Smith hit out at the ‘disgraceful decision’ that led to Manchester United going ahead from the penalty spot at Villa Park on Thursday night.
Smith was furious that VAR upheld referee Jon Moss’s decision to penalise Ezri Konsa when he collided with Bruno Fernandes, allowing the Portuguese star to put United on course for the win.
‘It all changed round on the penalty,’ said Smith. ‘I can understand Jon getting it wrong on the pitch but VAR? I don’t know what they’re looking at. It’s a disgraceful decision.
‘They’ve got a screen there they can go and look at, but they don’t seem to be bothered now. Anybody who’s been in football knows he (Bruno) is trying the drag back. His foot is on his (Konsa’s) shin.
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‘I thought it would be overturned straightaway and fully expected them to give us a free-kick. I went down to the dugout and saw it on camera.
‘How somebody in the studio who had the view I saw only once made that decision is beyond me.
‘Five minutes after the game the 100 or so text messages I had saying it was a disgraceful decision tell me my feelings were right.’
Villa have four games to save themselves from relegation, starting at home to Crystal Palace on Sunday.
‘The belief is there but we’re running out of games,’ added Smith. ‘Every Villa fan in their hearts didn’t expect too much from Liverpool and United.’
However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer agreed with the penalty award as United became the first club in Premier League history to win four games in a row by three goals or more.
‘Bruno has done a Zidane turn, the boy stuck his leg out and Bruno has landed on him,’ said Solskjaer. ‘If I try to jump away from someone and I land on them as they try to tackle me, it’s a penalty.
‘We could have scored three, four, five more. You’re happy with the way we create chances but we need to be more clinical.’