Former Aston Villa man slams ‘ridiculous’ Crystal Palace penalty decision

What did the pundit make of the penalty decision yesterday?

Former Aston Villa defender Martin Keown has said on Match of the Day that the penalty awarded to Crystal Palace yesterday was ‘ridiculous’.

Steven Gerrard’s side were beaten 3-1 away by the Eagles at Selhurst Park.

Villa took the lead after just five minutes through Ollie Watkins but succumbed to another defeat in the end.

Palace were awarded a penalty when Luca Digne was adjudged to have committed a hand ball in the box. Wilfried Zaha, who scored twice in the match, missed the spot kick but tapped in from the rebound.


Pundit Keown has said the penalty should never have been given: “This one is ridiculous. I think the word is that his arm is in an unnatural position. It isn’t.

“His opponent has got his arms in the air because he is in full flight so Luca Digne tries to do the same. I feel that is ridiculous.”

Fellow MOTD pundit Danny Murphy also agreed with him: “It doesn’t matter how many times you look at that from different angles, it is never a penalty. It should never be given in any game.”

Gerrard felt the decision was ‘harsh’ in his post-match interviews.

“The second half kicks-off and there’s a big moment in the game, the penalty incident which went against us,” said the Villa boss. “Some say it’s the rules, it’s a stonewall pen but, for me, it’s harsh. I’m not sure what Lucas can do in that situation.

“He competes honestly for the ball and tries to jump naturally. It’s a complete accident. The referee gives the penalty against us and our reaction from that wasn’t good enough and then we concede a poor third goal and the game runs away from you.”

Tough start

It has been a tough start to the new Premier League season for Aston Villa and controversial referee decisions certainly won’t help their cause.

Gerrard’s men have one win and two losses from their opening three matches, with both of their defeats coming away from home.

Next up for them is a Carabao Cup clash on Tuesday night against League One side Bolton Wanderers.

They then return to league action at home to West Ham United next weekend which is an opportunity to bounce back from their loss to Crystal Palace.