Aston Villa ace Luiz embroiled in controversy and 'there's a danger'

By Keith Hackett

17th Jan, 2022 | 2:12pm

Ex-Fifa official issues 'danger' verdict after analysing controversial Luiz-Man United footage

Keith Hackett has insisted Douglas Luiz did not deserve to be punished when he appeared to stand on Bruno Fernandes as Aston Villa held Man United to a 2-2 draw on Saturday (15 January).

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee suggested there is a “danger” in watching such incidents in slow motion.

As shown on the BBC’s Match of the Day programme, Luiz landed his foot on the back of Fernandes’ leg after a challenge between the pair.

Micah Richards suggested on the programme there was no other place for Luiz to put his foot.

And Hackett agreed with the assesment of the former Man City and England defender.

He said after analysing the footage with Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “It was more of an accident than it was bad intentioned.

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“There are times when players do come together but I don’t think this was a stamp. This was more of the player trying to get out the way but coming into contact with Fernandes, not a stamp.

“I don’t think there was any malice, which is what you look for. It was just a footballing coming together, no more than that. I agree that he had nowhere else to put his foot.

“There’s a danger here we look at these things in slow motion but it doesn’t give a true picture. When you look in slow motion you worry about it but when you see it in real speed there’s no malice.

“Yes, he’s come into contact and trod on his opponent but there’s no intention of harm.”

Fernandes looked back to his best at Villa Park as he scored both of United’s goals.

He now has 33 Premier League goals for the club since arriving in January 2020 – only Harry Kane (34) and Mohamed Salah (45) have scored more in that time.

In other news, Aston Villa have been tipped to announce a ‘surprise’ signing after a ‘shock’ January development.