Controversial Aston Villa penalty decision vs Wolves causes spat between ex-Tottenham teammates

Matt Doherty appeared to push Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins in the dying moments of the Midlands derby but no penalty was given.
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Penalty controversy in the Midlands meeting between Wolves and Aston Villa last weekend has ignited a spat between two former Tottenham Hotspur teammates.

Spoils were shared at Molineux on Sunday but that was nearly not the case in the dying minutes when Wolves defender Matt Doherty took the risk of placing a hand on the back of the pacey Ollie Watkins as he tore down on goal. The England international hit the ground, claiming to have been impeded by the contact but referee Rob Jones didn't deem the offence to be worthy of a spot-kick.

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Both sides had to settle for a point each thanks to Hwang Hee-chan and Pau Torres goals just after half-time but there was certainly reason for Unai Emery and his in-form Villa side to feel hard done by given the late refereeing decision.

Spurs star Eric Dier, a former teammate of Doherty, re-watched the incident on X, formerly known as Twitter, and couldn't resist the chance of winding up his old chum. 'Penalty,' he wrote as he shared the video of the coming together online.

The cheeky Tweet led to a series of one-word exchanges between the two. Doherty replied to Dier's penalty claim with the word 'experience' before the Spurs man retorted with 'laziness'.

Aston Villa believed they should have had a late penalty (Image: Getty Images)Aston Villa believed they should have had a late penalty (Image: Getty Images)
Aston Villa believed they should have had a late penalty (Image: Getty Images)

The defensive duo spent two-and-a-half seasons playing together at Tottenham Hotspur before Doherty moved to Athletico Madrid in January, where he struggled for game time before a return to the Midlands club where he spent the first 10 years of his professional career.

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Former referee Dermot Gallagher also had his say on the incident as he went through the weekend's action on Sky Sports. Villa fans won't want to hear it, but Gallagher sided with the referee and deemed that Watkins had gone down too easily. He said: "All I can think is that the referee thinks it's not enough contact to put him down like that. He goes to VAR, is it a clear and obvious error? The VAR sides with the referee and says it's not, so no foul given."

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