Dean Smith: Aston Villa head coach charged by FA after Manchester City offside controversy

Smith was angered after Manchester City's opening goal in Wednesday's 2-0 victory was allowed to stand following controversial offside ruling; Smith admitted asking fourth official David Coote if he had "got juggling balls for Christmas"

Dean Smith was sent off by Jon Moss  (AP Image)
Image: Dean Smith was sent off by Jon Moss during Aston Villa's defeat to Manchester City

Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith has been charged by the FA for using abusive or insulting language towards officials during his side's defeat to Manchester City on Wednesday.

Villa's players and bench were enraged when referee Jon Moss, and VAR official Andy Madley, allowed City midfielder Rodri's part in Bernardo Silva's 80th-minute goal which would ultimately play a major part in their side's 2-0 loss at the Etihad Stadium.

Smith was sent off for comments made to Moss and Coote, after watching Rodri stroll back from a clear offside position to tackle Tyrone Mings and set up Silva, who rapidly dispatched the first goal of the night.

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Aston Villa manager Dean Smith says he was unhappy Manchester City's opening goal in their 2-0 win against his side was allowed to stand and people are still left confused by the rules

Refereeing body PGMOL later confirmed the goal had been allowed to stand as Rodri had taken advantage of a caveat in the laws whereby an attacking player is played onside at the point a defender intentionally plays the ball.

An FA statement said: "Dean Smith has been charged with a breach of FA Rule E3 following Aston Villa FC's Premier League match against Manchester City FC on Wednesday.

"It is alleged that the manager used abusive and/or insulting language towards a match official during the 81st minute.

"Dean Smith has until Tuesday to respond to the charge."

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A frustrated Smith, who went on to lose 2-0 after Ilkay Gundogan's late penalty, took aim at the rules - and Moss - is his post-match press conference.

"I still don't understand the rule if I'm honest," he said. "I don't think anybody can tell me why the goal's been given; he's taken advantage of an offside position.

"It's 10 yards offside, he comes back and tackles Mings from behind. What's Mings meant to do, let it go through or do we just stand 10 yards offside in the next few games now? I don't understand.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester City's win over Aston Villa in the Premier League

"I thought they'd at least go over to the screen because it looked a clear offside when I looked myself. When I realised they weren't going and the VAR hadn't mentioned anything, I just told the fourth official I thought they'd had juggling balls for Christmas.

"I got a yellow card [from Moss] for saying I think you've had juggling balls for Christmas. What I said for the red card doesn't need to be censored, it wasn't swearing. He came over and said I'm interpreting the laws of the game, and I said you should've done that earlier in the game.

"I think I got treated rather unfairly, I've seen a lot of worse things said to Jon Moss before and he's not dealt like that with it. It just looks like he couldn't wait to give me a yellow and then a red. I'm frustrated at myself, I got sucked into something I shouldn't have."

'City benefitted from loophole'

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher told Sky Sports News' Ref Watch that the goal was allowed to stand due to an "unpalatable loophole".

Gallagher stated Rodri had taken advantage of a caveat in the laws whereby an attacking player is played onside at the point a defender intentionally plays the ball, but said it was "morally not good" that it should be allowed to stand.

"It's very unpalatable, it's a loophole, there's a number of issues here," he told Sky Sports News. "Rodri being in an offside position is not an offence, once Mings decides to play the ball it's what's termed in the laws of the game as a natural football movement, he takes ownership of that situation and therefore Rodri can get involved.

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City benefited from a loophole in the offside law in the lead up to Bernardo Silva's goal in the 2-0 Premier League win against Aston Villa, says former referee Dermot Gallagher

"Once that happens, they score this wondergoal, but the issue that follows is that the assistant, Darren Cann, a former World Cup final assistant, one of the guys at the top of his field, he's relayed to the referee where the player is because they talk all the time.

"He will say Rodri's in an offside position, I'm watching and monitoring him, he will then see Mings try to control the ball, and once he takes it on his chest he will tell Jon Moss that Rodri can again take part in play again.

"The game goes on, the goal's scored, the VAR will check the goal because they check all goals. Is it valid? They have heard what Darren Cann's said, so there's no need to go to the screen.

"I use the word 'unpalatable' because I think it is. I think Dean Smith hit the nail on the head, and said no one in the stadium thinks it's a valid goal. That's the moral issues, the real law issue is that it is a goal and referees can't pick and choose, so it is a goal.

"Morally this is not good, but the referee is hamstrung by this technicality saying once Mings takes ownership of the situation, there is nothing the referee can do about it except allow Rodri to play."

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