Aston Villa were ‘extremely unlucky’ not be awarded a penalty in the closing stages of their 3-2 defeat to Manchester City, according to Jamie Redknapp.
Having fought back from two goals down to level the match at 2-2, Villa striker Christian Benteke was played through on goal by Charles N’Zogbia before City ‘keeper Joe Hart brought him down in the area.
The linesman flagged Benteke offside, saving Hart from an instant dismissal. City then went on to score the winner less than two minutes later through Fernandinho’s late strike.
And, speaking after the game on Saturday Night Football, Redknapp felt Tim Sherwood’s side were unfortunate.
“We talk about some decision that are difficult for linesmen, by the linesmen is on the same side of the pitch,” he said. “He has a really good view of it and I think he makes a really poor call.
“There have been a couple [of decisions], I recall one in the first half were Benteke was called offside for an opportunity.
“They are difficult calls to make; I suppose the linesman can saw Demichelis’ body lunging forward. But we want to see the benefit given to the forward.
“These are big calls in games and, while I do think it’s a difficult one, you can see it’s tight and I thought it was a really poor decision by the linesman.
“You can see a little bit of relief on Joe’s face when he looks up and sees the referee has thankfully given offside. Villa were extremely unlucky.
“The referee’s official has had a bad day and I can understand Tim’s frustration because they put so much into the game.
“But the goals they conceded were really poor. Once you get back to 2-2 I think then you’ve got to try and hang on for at least a point.
“The goals they’ve conceded have cost them and I’m sure that will be something Sherwood will be trying to sort out in training for sure.”
Former Aston Villa midfielder Stiliyan Petrov, who joined Redknapp in analysing the game, agreed his former side were unlucky with regards to that specific decision.
But the Bulgarian believes Villa have themselves to blame as poor defending for each of City’s three goals cost them the game.
“You can see Christian was onside,” he said. “It was great play from him and he was unlucky because if that was ruled onside I think that’s a penalty and a red card for Hart.
“Villa didn’t deserve to lose, though. They lost because they’ve conceded three very poor goals and defended poorly, that’s what cost them the game today, not the decision.”