Tuesday 20 March 2018

Lambert irate over penalty decision

Aston Villa 0
Southampton 1

John Curtis

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert claims referee Mark Halsey will be "embarrassed" at the penalty award which doomed his side to a 1-0 home defeat against Southampton in the Premier League relegation battle.

Replays indicated that Villa defender Enda Stevens made no contact on Saints player Jay Rodriguez before he went down.

But referee Halsey – a late replacement for the ill Chris Foy – thought otherwise and Saints skipper Rickie Lambert made no mistake from the spot for his ninth goal of the campaign, sending Paul Lambert's side into the bottom three.

"I've seen the penalty loads of times. I've had a chat with Mark [Halsey] after the game. He was adamant he was 100 per cent right – and he has guessed. It was never a penalty, never, nowhere near it."

Saints boss Nigel Adkins insists Rodriguez did not dive as his side secured their second away win of the campaign.

He said: "The challenge on Jay, there is no contact. Jay's leg has moved out of the way which is just as well otherwise there would have been clear contact.

"We don't advocate diving at our club and we probably should have had seven or eight penalties this season we weren't given. It is not a dive."

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