Aston Villa

Noel Whelan was astonished at the first goal conceded by Aston Villa against Man City and claimed Dean Smith had every right to be raging.

The former Leeds United striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, has blasted the decision to allow Bernardo Silva’s goal to stand after Rodri came from an offside position to tackle Tyrone Mings and set up the Portuguese playmaker.

As confirmed by the FA in an official statement on Friday, Smith was charged with using abusive language towards a match official and handed a one-game touchline ban and an £8000 fine.

He is set to join John McGinn in missing the Villans’ clash against Newcastle United on Saturday after the Scottish midfielder picked up his fifth yellow card of the season.

However, Whelan has ripped into the officials for their interpretation of the rules and believes there will be a change of the laws after the controversial incident.

Asked if Smith had every right to be furious on Wednesday night, Whelan told Football Insider: “Absolutely, nobody knows the rules, that’s the problem. If you can stand 15 yards offside and then come back into play and tackle somebody, then the game is gone, in my opinion.

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“I mean it’s a farcical rule, it really is, once the ball hits Tyrone Mings – and he should have cleared it, there’s no doubt about that, but in saying that are you expecting him (Rodri) to come back into play and it be legal? Not really, no.

“I think the problem is no one knows the rules and the rules that they have brought in, like the handball one, they had to revert back and change it because it was getting ridiculous.

“Now I think they need to go back and have a look at this. Sometimes you need an example for something to be changed and unfortunately, it was on Aston Villa’s head that this has come around.” 

Villa, who were playing their first game back after a Coronavirus outbreak at the club’s training ground, ended up losing 2-0 to Pep Guardiola’s men.

In other news, a top pundit has claimed Aston Villa are close to signing a player they can make big money on.