Villa boss Smith slams ‘farcical’ VAR decision in Spurs loss

Date published: Sunday 16th February 2020 7:22 - Will Ford

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has criticised VAR after an overturned penalty decision contributed to his side’s dramatic 3-2 defeat to Tottenham.

Heung-Min Son struck a last-gasp winner as Spurs clinched a vital win to boost their Champions League hopes.

Toby Alderweireld had earlier atoned for his own goal to restore parity before Son was handed the chance to put Spurs ahead after Bjorn Engels was deemed by VAR to have unfairly brought down Steven Bergwijn inside the box.

Smith told Sky Sports: “Unfortunately, we’ll end up talking about VAR again which is unfortunate because I thought it was a good spectacle with two teams going toe-to-toe trying to win the game.

“Nobody in this stadium, including the player who went down thought it was a penalty. Bjorn Engels has slid in and is there contact? Yeah, possibly. He’s blocked the shot but nobody thought it was a penalty.

“The criteria I’ve been told is that it has to be clear and obvious, but if it takes two minutes, that’s not clear and obvious. For me, it’s farcical.

“So we’re again sat in a sterile environment looking at something that everybody in a stadium of 42,000 people, our staff, their staff, don’t think it’s a penalty.

“I don’t know why Martin Atkinson doesn’t go over to the monitor to have a look and then play on. If you’re looking at it seven or eight times, then it’s not clear and obvious. They’ve overturned what was a good decision by the referee.”


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