Aston Villa news: Ex-Premier League referee slams sneaky Ollie Watkins as controversy analysed
Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins may have conned referee Darren England in order to win his side a penalty against Wolves.
That is the view of former Fifa and Premier League referee Keith Hackett, who was speaking exclusively to Football Insider in the wake of Villa’s 2-1 defeat on Saturday (2 April).
Referee England didn’t hesitate to point to the spot when Watkins, 26, was felled by Jose Sa in the penalty area with Aston Villa trailing 2-0 late in the second half.
The England international dusted himself off and scored the spot-kick to half the deficit with time running out.
However, the decision had no real bearing on the result as Wolves held on to secure bragging rights over their Midlands rivals.
Hackett suggested Watkins was “looking” for a penalty with Villa trying desperately to claw their way back into the game.
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“I think Watkins knows exactly what he’s doing, for me,” he told Football Insider‘s Connor Whitley after analysing the footage.
“There’s not enough in that for a penalty kick. He was looking for it.
“I think that’s the wrong decision.
“He’s initiated the contact there, and Darren England has bought it.”
Watkins’ consolation goal was his eighth league strike of the season.
Aston Villa have won three penalties this season, while Wolves have been awarded just one.
Steven Gerrard’s side sit tenth in the Premier League, some 13 points and two places behind Bruno Lage’s outfit.
In other news, Aston Villa make up their minds on Anwar El Ghazi future.