By Michael Brown

4th Aug, 2020 | 5:00pm

Exclusive: Pundit drops huge Villa relegation claim after big Sky development

Michael Brown believes Aston Villa are “lucky” to still be in the Premier League after Hawk-Eye’s failure to award Sheffield United a goal during a 0-0 draw at Villa Park.

The former Premier League midfielder, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insisted the decision “set the tone” for Villa to avoid the drop.

Dean Smith’s men finished a place and a point ahead of Bournemouth in the table, thanks to a 1-1 draw at West Ham on the final day.

Sky Sports revealed that the Cherries board will meet to discuss taking legal action against Hawk-Eye, after their failure to award the goal may have cost Eddie Howe’s side relegation.

And Brown, while admitting Villa had shown improvement, suggested the decision played a huge role in keeping them in the Premier League.

“Lucky is an understatement,” Brown told Football Insider.

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“I would say though that they did show some improvement. They showed some courage, some strength and they got a little bit better.

“But were they lucky? Yes, extremely lucky and that set the tone. A loss at home that never happened and then of course my own club, Sheffield United, would have had a much better start to the restart.

“It was a huge, huge swing for something relatively straight forward, we all saw that the goal should have been given and I thought it was a ridiculous decision.

“If I’m sat there shouting at the scream that it’s a goal, my initial reaction straight away, how can that not be changed?”

Hawk-Eye apologised for the error after Villa goalkeeper Orjan Nyland carried the ball into his own side netting against the Blades.

Ultimately, even if Chris Wilder’s side had beaten Villa 1-0 that day,  they would have beaten the drop on goals scored.

In other Aston Villa news, Exclusive: ‘Jack Grealish wants to stay at Villa’.

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