By Keith Hackett

28th Sep, 2021 | 7:00am

Smith may not understand laws of the game as ex-Premier League ref analyses Aston Villa footage

Keith Hackett has insisted the referee was right to award Man United a penalty against Aston Villa.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-FIFA and Premier League referee hit back at Dean Smith’s claim that Kortney Hause’s handball did not warrant a penalty.

He told Sky Sports the decision was “extremely harsh” and “justice was done” when Bruno Fernandes missed the spot-kick.

Aston Villa went on to see out the game 1-0 thanks to Hause’s earlier header.

Asked whether Smith had a point, Hackett told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “No, I don’t think he has.

“What players and managers have got to understand is when a player’s hand is away from his body, it then becomes the referee’s judgement.

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“The referee, VAR and the linesman have judged his hand is away from his body and he has handled the ball deliberately.

“The only area that one might question is the speed, has he got the opportunity to withdraw his hand? And even if he withdrew it would it have struck his arm?

“But no, I support the referee, I think he was right in giving a penalty kick for a handball. It demonstrated the law as it is how interpreted and managers and players have got to be aware of that.”

Emiliano Martinez did his best to put Fernandes off before his penalty that he subsequently hit way over the crossbar.

It was Aston Villa’s first win at Old Trafford since a 1-0 victory in December 2009.

In other news, an Aston Villa sensation is “in the shop window” as January exit “likely”.