Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has angrily rounded on officials after his side conceded a controversial goal in their Premier League loss to Manchester City.
Smith was shown a red card for his protestations after Bernardo Silva put City on course for their sixth successive league win by breaking the deadlock 11 minutes from time.
Villa were furious that City midfielder Rodri ran back from an offside position when he dispossessed Tyrone Mings to set up Silva for the breakthrough goal.
“It was a farcical decision,” Smith said of City’s opener.
“I’ve not seen a goal like that given…. I don’t think anyone in this stadium thought it was a goal.
“Are we just going to leave players behind the line then?
“He was 10 yards offside and come back and tackled our player, it’s a pathetic law and a pathetic decision.”
After the match, the body in charge of the Premier League’s match officials issued a statement explaining that, by the letter of the law, Rodri had not gained an advantage.
“Rodri was initially standing in an offside position as the ball was played upfield,” the statement read.
“Tyrone Mings deliberately played the ball, controlling it on his chest. As soon as Mings deliberately played the ball the following Law applies: ‘A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent who deliberately plays the ball, including by deliberate handball, is not considered to have gained an advantage, unless it was a deliberate save by any opponent’.
“As the Law deems that Rodri has not gained an advantage, he has not committed an offside offence and play should be allowed to continue. Rodri legitimately took possession of the ball from Mings, starting the attack which resulted in the goal.”
Smith revealed that, amid his anger on the touchline, he was shown a yellow card by referee Jon Moss for asking fourth official David Coote “if he got juggling balls for Christmas”.
This was swiftly followed by a red card for something else Smith said.
Mings admitted he was not familiar with the rule but branded the decision “nonsense”.
City manager Pep Guardiola said he did not have a strong opinion on his side’s controversial opener.
“I don’t know exactly the rule but if it was offside I am pretty sure the goal would have been disallowed,” he said.
Smith was also far from happy about the last-minute penalty, awarded for handball against Matty Cash, that led to Ilkay Guendogan wrapping up the victory.
“A header from a yard out that has hit his arm. That’s not handball – it’s ridiculous,” Smith said.