City boss laments 'ludicrous' penalty decision

Max Aarons of Norwich is upended by Tom Naylor of Wigan Athletic in the box but no penalty is awarde

Dean Smith felt Norwich City should have been awarded a penalty after Tom Naylor's reckless tackle on Max Aarons late on. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Dean Smith has described the decision not to award Norwich City a penalty after Tom Naylor's tackle on Max Aarons as 'scandalous'. 

The Canaries' right-back was left with a gash on his left shin and forced to withdraw after the challenge from the Wigan midfielder. 

Referee Matthew Donohue elected not to award a penalty despite holding a good position, and waived play on despite replays showing Naylor was high and went in with his studs up. 

Smith, who felt his side's performance warranted a victory, was left frustrated at the decision, which he felt should have resulted in both a spot kick being awarded and a red card. 

"My reflections on the game are that they've nicked a point and we've lost two. I thought that it was a step in the right direction in terms of performance. 

"Even if we would have won three or four nil, I still would have been saying that it was a step in the right direction.

"The only thing that was missing today was the three points, and we probably should have got that but for a ludicrous decision not to give a penalty from a horrendous tackle," City's boss said.

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"It was a scandalous decision and a scandalous tackle that should have resulted in a penalty and a red card.

"Max is okay but he's got a gaping wound in his left shin, which tells you everything."

Smith was also quick to dismiss counter arguments stating that Naylor got to the ball first - something that is rendered irrelevant in the laws of the game. 

Serious foul play is deemed to be 'a tackle or challenge that endangers the safety of an opponent or uses excessive force or brutality'. 

Smith felt the tackle met that particular threshold. 

"It certainly wasn't an excuse when I played," Smith said. "If you went over the top even when you won the ball, you were off. 

"I haven't seen any other of the others back, but that was the one my analyst was keen to show me after the game. 

"I saw Nigel Pearson's comments after a penalty that was given against them at Hull saying 'can we have VAR in the Championship? If not, why not?'

"Why aren't referees mic'd up so we can get a breakdown of why they are making the decisions that they make. He is looking straight down the barrel of that one, and it worries me if he doesn't see that as a bad tackle."

Dimitris Giannoulis of Norwich is injured and leaves the match on a stretcher during the Sky Bet Cha

Dimitris Giannoulis was stretchered off with a nasty looking ankle injury. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

City's boss also provided an update on Dimi Giannoulis, who was stretchered off the pitch after a serious-looking injury to his ankle. 

"He got his studs caught in the ground and went over on his ankle," Smith said.

"He was distressed and obviously in a lot of pain. I've just seen him in the medical room and he's in the best place at the moment. 

"We hope it isn't too serious. He will go to hospital and have an x-ray or a scan and see how it is. We will know how it is then."