Belfast Telegraph

Lambert set to speak to Riley

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert admitted he will look to speak to referees' chief Mike Riley after Gabby Agbonlahor's shock dismissal.

The striker was sent off after a collision with Ashley Young in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Manchester United.

It was a 50-50 challenge but was Villa's second red card in two games after Kieran Richardson walked in last week's 1-0 defeat at West Brom.

And Lambert expects to talk to Professional Game Match Officials boss Riley about Lee Mason's controversial decision.

He said: "I will have a call, yeah, and find out exactly because the Kieran Richardson one I don't have a problem with but this one I certainly do.

"There was nothing, you may as well pack up if you're going to take tackling out of the game. The two have gone in without any malice or studs showing, that's not a red card.

"The two have gone in fairly but the lad (Young) himself admitted he thought he fouled Gabby."

Villa, who were already missing the suspended Richardson and Alan Hutton, are likely to appeal.

Keeper Brad Guzan also questioned the decision but praised the side after they played the final 25 minutes with 10 men.

"It didn't look like a red card from where I was. Looking at the replay in the dressing room, I definitely don't think it was a red card," he said.

"In saying that, in those situations you have to find a way to get on with the game.

"The referee's decision is final. You have to stick together and we did that for 25 minutes, to be down a man against a top side. It showed a lot of character and determination, it's a credit to the guys in front of me."

The draw ended United's six-game winning run and boss Louis van Gaal was critical of his side's inability to finish Villa off after Falcao equalised following Christian Benteke's impressive opener.

The United manager felt drawing games at sides like Villa would cost them a shot at the title but Lambert believes they will still have a say in the race.

"If you spend that kind of money at that club you have to win more games than not to challenge for the title," he said, with United third in the Barclays Premier League and Villa 12th.

"They are going to have a shout with it. If they don't win it they will have a massive bearing on where it's going to go. They are a top side."


From Belfast Telegraph