Aston Villa manager Dean Smith revealed he was sent off during his team’s 2-0 Premier League defeat at Manchester City for suggesting the officials were clowns.
Villa put bodies on the line to frustrate City at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday until Bernardo Silva opened the scoring with a contentious goal 11 minutes from time.
Rodri came back from an offside position behind Tyrone Mings to dispossess the Villa defender and set up Silva, who finished clinically with his left foot from the edge of the penalty area.
Smith was then shown a red card by referee Jon Moss for telling fourth official David Coote he thought the officials must have been given juggling balls for Christmas.
Ilkay Gundogan rubbed salt into the wounds by scoring from the spot after Matty Cash was penalised for handball, and Villa boss Smith made his feelings clear after his team were beaten in what was their first top-flight game for 19 days due to a coronavirus outbreak.
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) January 20, 2021
“I still don’t understand the rule if I’m honest,” said Smith.
“I don’t think anyone can tell me why a goal has been given. He [Rodri] has taken advantage of an offside position. He comes back and tackles Tyrone Mings from behind.
“What was Tyrone supposed to do, just let it go through? He was 10 metres offside. Do you just stand there all the time now?
“I thought they’d at least go over to the screen as it looked clear offside. I looked at the screen myself and it looked like a clear offside.
“When I realised they weren’t even going to take a look I told the fourth official I thought they had got juggling balls for Christmas.
“If that’s the law then definitely [it should be changed]. He’s standing offside and taking an unfair advantage from that. Nobody in this stadium thinks that goal should have stood, so you can’t tell me it should have stood and that tells you there is a fault with the law.”
He added: “I don’t think anyone can tell me why it’s been given. What is Tyrone meant to do? Can you stand 10 yards offside now?
“Nobody in the stadium feels that should have counted so you can’t tell me that should have counted.”