Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Sunday April 25 2010
I don`t usually comment on decisions in games that don`t affect Wigan Athletic, I usually just watch and enjoy but the Aston Villa Birmingham game has left me a trifle confused.
Late in the game (82nd minute) with the score at 0-0 Agbonlahor races into the Birmingham box with the ball at his feet, Birmingham defender Johnson slides in from behind and brings down Agbonlahor, the referee gives a penalty 1-0 Villa.
A spot on decision but what a fuss that followed!!!
First off the Birmingham players surround the referee, Johnson screaming at his face about his innocence, mind you it`s the same Johnson who screamed at a ref at the DW Stadium earlier this season in an attempt to get Hugo Rodallega sent off for an innocuous challenge, so shouldn`t be too surprised.
At the final whistle the Birmingham players were at it again pointing their fingers at and surrounding the referee and his assistant and Brum boss Alec McLeish had a go as well.
After the game Sky pundit Andy Gray tried his best to convince the world that Johnson had got the ball and it wasn`t a penalty, what?
Gray slowed the replay down, moved the camera angle from the front to the side to the back and still it looked 100% a penalty, then he brought up the referees position which was directly in line and said `if he isn`t sure he shouldn`t have given it`, again what?
He got the ball says Johnson, Brum skipper Carr, boss McLeish and pundit Gray, I say Johnson`s stud almost brushed the ball and he got Agbonlahor, the ball neither sped up or changed direction and he bundled into the Villa player who was heading towards goal, a stonewall penalty.
I must admit I enjoyed watching the Birmingham players anguish and I felt a little retribution for what happened at St. Andrews when the Latics visited in February and got done by the dodgiest of dodgy penalty decisions after Mario Melchiot was adjudged to have brought down Fahey when it was clear that he was at least a yard away from the Irish Olympic diving champion
I remember McLeish at the time saying 'even if there was no contact Melchiot should know better than to challenge there`, well back at you, though there was definitely contact today.
Birmingham have won many plaudits this season for the way they have played, thuggish bullying tactics that have seen them spoil their way to 9th spot in the table and scoring just a paltry 35 goals along the way, revenge is a dish best served cold, nice one Villa and Mr Attkinson.
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Date:Sunday April 25 2010
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