The referee and VAR may have made a key mistake in the recent Aston Villa game by not punishing Man United’s Lisandro Martinez for a clear elbow on Aston Villa’s Leon Bailey.
Manager Unai Emery took charge of his first game as Villa boss this weekend in the Premier League and enjoyed the perfect start to life in his new position.
Indeed, the Villans brushed past Manchester United in impressive fashion as they picked up all three points in a 3-1 win thanks to goals from Bailey, Lucas Digne, and Jacob Ramsey – with the latter also scoring an own goal.
It seems as though the fine Aston Villa display was all a bit too much for United defender Martinez who seemed to take out his anger on an opposition player with a swing of the elbow – as seen in this footage.
TIF thoughts on the incident and Aston Villa…
Incredibly, in that passage of play as the two fight for the ball, Martinez seems to elbow Bailey in his body on more than one occasion. Even so, VAR did not deem it bad enough to intervene and punish with a sending-off.
That sort of behaviour certainly could be labelled as violent conduct and so the United defender is pretty lucky his actions weren’t viewed that way by referee Anthony Taylor.
In the end, it didn’t matter a great deal as Villa were already winning the game comfortably at that stage. But with about 30 minutes still left on the clock, there was time for the Red Devils to turn the game on its head. Had that happened, this really would have been a big moment of controversy to reflect upon.
Either way, Martinez can count himself lucky he was handed his marching orders.