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Aston Villa: Pundit slams refereeing decision in win at Brighton

Aston Villa: Pundit slams refereeing decision in win at Brighton -Aston Villa News

Pundit Noel Whelan has slammed the decision by the matchday officials to not give a penalty against Aston Villa during their 2-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion last weekend. 

The Lowdown: Villa beat Brighton 

In Villa’s final game before the World Cup, Unai Emery’s side secured all three points despite finding themselves 1-0 down in the first minute of the match at the Amex Stadium.

One big incident in the game saw Brighton denied a penalty after Lucas Digne appeared to have fouled Solly March in the box. On-field referee Chris Kavanagh didn’t give the penalty and VAR didn’t get involved, which prompted a reaction of disapproval from Whelan.

The Latest: Whelan bemused by penalty decision

Speaking to Football Insider, the 47-year-old criticised the officials’ role in that pivotal moment of the match.

He said: “There’s no misinterpretation, there’s no excuse – it’s a foul.

“If you get the ball nicked past you and you make contact with the player, it’s got to be a penalty. Whether the intent is there or not, March has worked hard to get there first and he’s been wiped out.


“Digne has lashed out, and it’s a clean contact to his leg. I don’t see how they can misinterpret the rules in front of them like that. There’s no grey area – it’s black and white.

“This is what we’ve got VAR for. If we’re not going to overturn decisions like this, there’s no point in having it. They’ve got to get these decisions right, and at the moment the technology is not working.”

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Aston Villa manager Unai Emery

Villa fans, have a go at our World Cup quiz! Firstly, True or False? Unai Emery played in the World Cup for Spain


The Verdict: Villa’s lucky break

Speaking on the latest episode of Sky Sports’ Ref Watch, Dermot Gallagher shared his verdict on the incident by saying that he was surprised VAR didn’t tell the on-field referee to review Digne’s challenge on the monitor.

The former top-flight official added that, if this had happened, the penalty would likely have been given to Brighton.

With that in mind, it seems that Villa can count themselves lucky that the officials on VAR did not get involved, as Emery’s side would likely have conceded a penalty, which may then have had a big impact on the game and the result, considering that it finished 2-1 to the visitors.

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