Tom Heaton: Aston Villa due some VAR luck after Manchester City goal controversy

By Matt Maher | Aston Villa | Published:

Tom Heaton reckons Villa are due some VAR luck after they were on the wrong end of another controversial call during Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Manchester City.

City's second goal is given.

The home side’s second goal, claimed by David Silva, appeared set to be ruled out with Raheem Sterling impeding the Villa keeper’s view while stood in an offside position.

But VAR official Jon Moss allowed the strike to stand after deciding replays did not confirm Silva had got a touch on Kevin De Bruyne’s cross.

To add insult to Villa’s injury, the Premier League’s goal accreditation panel later re-awarded the goal to Silva.

Heaton confirmed he heard the ball flick off the Spaniard’s boot and added: “I am not totally convinced it didn’t brush Raheem’s shorts too, to be honest. For me, it was offside.

“I said to the referee at the time he was in my eyeline. He said the VAR was looking at it and it wasn’t to be. It didn’t go our way. It is a bizarre one.”

Villa have seen several VAR calls go against them this season and Heaton added: “We feel we have fallen on the wrong side of it.

“It is tough to take but I am a big believer in these things levelling themselves out over the season, so hopefully it will do that.”

After a solid first-half showing, Villa fell behind when Sterling netted in the early seconds of the second half. Ilkay Gundogan later added the home side’s third.


Heaton felt there were positives for Villa to take despite suffering their heaviest defeat of the season so far against the reigning Premier League champions.

“I think there should be added belief really,” he said. “This was the first time coming to City for a lot of lads in the dressing room.

“But I think the way we went about it, the way we tried to impact the game, I think we can take a lot from it.

“I think it has been a real rock solid start to the season, a good foundation.

“There has been some really good stuff and we have been unlucky not to come away with a few more points in certain games. I think those fine margins are the things we are learning as we go.”

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher

Chief sports writer for the Express & Star.

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