‘Nobody can understand’ – How Aston Villa’s next ref was involved in Crystal Palace controversy
The referee for Aston Villa’s Premier League trip to Norwich City this weekend was involved in one of the most controversial decisions of Villa’s campaign so far.
Andy Madley is the man in the middle for Saturday’s Carrow Road clash, when Dean Smith’s side will look for a result to move them out of the relegation zone at the start of October.
Madley was the VAR (video assistant referee) for Villa’s 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace in August.
That game saw Henri Lansbury have a last-gasp equaliser ruled out for the Villains, referee Kevin Friend having adjudged Jack Grealish to have dived in the act of getting a pass away to Lansbury, who fired into the far corner.
It was claimed afterwards that VAR could not be used to review the incident because Friend had already blown his whistle to make a decision before the goal had been scored.
That meant Madley was not in a position to consider overturning the decision and letting Lansbury’s late effort stand.
In the immediate aftermath of the game, Smith gave his frustrated thoughts on the incident.
“Good goal. Nobody can understand why it was not given. I spoke in the week about VAR and subjective decisions and I’d always wondered how I’d be when the first one went against me, disappointed,” he said.
“I can’t see anything having watched it back, he got a nudge from Zaha in the back as Jack’s running at them and, as he offloads it, Cahill’s comes in for the tackle as well. Simulation? No chance!
“I’ve been questioned if his reputation goes before him but he was the most-fouled player in the Championship last season for a reason and he’s one of the most in this league as well.
“For me, it’s a perfectly good goal rubbed off today.
Against Norwich, referee Madley will be joined by assistants Scott Ledger and Derek Eaton, while Darren Bond is the fourth official and Stuart Attwell will be the VAR. Constantine Hatzidakis is the assistant VAR.