Bruno Fernandes’ contentious penalty – after he appeared to tread on Ezri Konsa – gave the visitors the platform for victory on Thursday night. Referee Jon Moss gave the spot-kick and his decision was backed up by VAR official Graham Scott, much to Villa’s disbelief and fury.
Mason Greenwood’s missile and Paul Pogba’s first goal for 453 days then saw United extend their unbeaten run to 17 games in all competitions in another statement of intent.
Smith, speaking to Sky Sports after the game, said: “It unraveled with the first goal. We made a bright start, had some chances, they are always a threat on the counter but it all changed round on the penalty decision.
“I can understand Jon (Moss, referee) getting it wrong but I don’t know what VAR is looking at – it’s a disgraceful decision. They have a screen they can go and look at it but they don’t seem to be bothered.” “Fernandes is trying a double drag back – his first touch is on the ball his second touch is on Ezri Konsa’s shin. I won’t tell you what I think…
“Unfortunately they were too good for us in the second half with that lead. The second goal was the one, the reaction after the first goal wasn’t great, the second goal was the one. “If you go in at 1-0 you can gather the troops and go again.”