The decision to award West Brom a penalty against Aston Villa on Sunday was “very, very, very soft”, according to Gabby Agbonlahor.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, Villa’s record Premier League goalscorer insisted the amount of soft penalties being awarded in the Premier League is “getting silly” because of VAR.
Albion midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles went down after the slightest touch from Ezri Konsa in the 23rd minute.
After a VAR review, Matheus Pereira converted from the spot to level the scores after Villa took the lead with a penalty early on.
West Brom then took the lead early on in the second half before Villa salvaged a point in injury time.
Asked for his assessment of the Baggies’ penalty, Agbonlahor told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “It was very, very, very soft.
“It’s just getting silly now with penalties. Players are getting very clever.
“I’m seeing some of the penalties that are getting given and six, seven years ago you’re not even going down. The referee would have been like ‘Get up, it’s only a little touch.’
“But now, with VAR, any little touch is a penalty.
“Some of the penalties you’re seeing, players are going down like they’ve been shot but really they’re just acting and that’s just the way it’s going at the moment.”
Speaking after the game Dean Smith fumed at the decision that cost his side all three points.
He told Birmingham Live: “It’s certainly not enough for anybody to go down. If that’s the case then we must start coaching non-contact football next season.”