‘That staggers me’ – Smith questions Konsa’s red card versus West Ham

Dean Smith insisted that his Aston Villa squad is “good enough” to overcome their bad run as he was left staggered by Ezri Konsa’s red card against West Ham.

Last month, the Villans scored a late winner to beat Manchester United at Old Trafford.

They have struggled since then, however. In the lead up to Sunday’s game against West Ham, they suffered three straight defeats to Tottenham, Wolves and Arsenal.

Villa and West Ham precisely where they should be on merit

Villa went a goal down against West Ham early on through Ben Johnson. Ollie Watkins grabbed an equaliser but David Moyes’ side regained the lead via Declan Rice’s effort from outside the penalty area.

After an intervention from VAR, Konsa was sent off early in the second half. He was adjudged to have been the last man when he brought down Jarrod Bowen.

Pablo Fornals and Bowen got a goal each before full time as Smith’s side were beaten 4-1.

This result leaves Villa 15th in the Premier League. They have won just three of their opening ten league games.

As reported by BBC Sport, Smith said after the loss that Konsa should not have been sent off:

“It wasn’t a red card. The referee saw a still and in full time and thought the ball was going towards the goal. It amazes me, it wasn’t going towards the goal. And Ashley Young was covering,” Smith said.

“That staggers me. It’s not a red card. I thought we were all right with 10 men. We gave as good as we got.”

On Marvelous Nakamba having to go off briefly before West Ham’s third: “I don’t understand the rule – the player gets booked [for fouling him] and he has to go off the pitch. We had eight outfield players on the pitch when they scored [for 3-1].

“It was a poor start. He’s cut inside for the opening goal. Leon jumps over it and it unsights our keeper. We didn’t start well but we grew into the game. We scored a good goal and created chances. It was a poor second goal, he went though bodies and has knobbled it far corner. Poor goal to concede.

“There were two big talking points. We have got eight outfield players on the pitch for the third goal. The rules of the game say if he has been fouled and the other player was cautioned, he can stay on the pitch. He was told to come off.

“We’ve got two or three players who have soft tissue injuries and some Covid related illnesses.

“Perceptions change all the time. We can’t control that. I believe in this squad. We didn’t deserve a 4-1 defeat. The squad is good enough to turn this round. We need to, we don’t want it to fester.”

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