O'Leary Slams Officials Decisions

Last updated : 19 January 2004 By Paul Doherty
The Villa boss was fuming at the decision to allow Thiery Henry's first goal from a free-kick to stand and questioned the penalty decision that led to Arsenals second goal also.

"You could say we were hard done by. The ref (Mark Halsey) told my players to give Arsenal 10 yards and they've gone back," he said after the 2-0 defeat.

"He was on the ball and then gets out of way and let's Henry take it. It was a joke decision in my opinion.

"We did what the ref said and were waiting for a whistle after that. My players said he told them to move back and they waited for the whistle."

On the penalty awarded after Kanu had been body-checked by Olof Mellberg in the box, Oleary said: "No chance that it was a penalty. "They know it themselves.

"At least it's out there and everyone has seen it. It wasn't a penalty - end of story.

"The result hinged on two decisions. They are quality players but there was nothing in the game but those calls.

"We can take a lot from this into our Carling Cup semi-final against Bolton. We gave a good account of ourselves."