Aston Villa manager Dean Smith responds to Tyrone Mings and Anwar El Ghazi headbutt

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith responds to Tyrone Mings and Anwar El Ghazi headbutt
Football

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has played down the angry clash between Villans stars Tyrone Mings and Anwar El Ghazi during Monday night’s 0-0 draw with West Ham.

El Ghazi appeared to try and headbutt his team-mate after Mings berated the winger for not tracking back late in the first-half at Villa Park.

El Ghazi appeared to try to headbutt team-mate Mings in the first-half

Sky Sports

El Ghazi appeared to try to headbutt team-mate Mings in the first-half

It was the main talking point of an eventful goalless draw, with the pair being separated by midfielder Marvelous Nakamba before referee Mike Dean stepped in, telling both players: ‘You’re on the same team!’

El Ghazi could have been sent off for his actions and the incident was checked by VAR, but the Villa forward escaped a red card.

Villa captain Jack Grealish insisted the duo’s grudge didn’t last long and it was ‘put to bed’ at half-time.

And Smith has confirmed both Mings and El Ghazi shook hands and put the incident behind them before they both played on for the second-half.

“I didn’t need to deal with it, the players dealt with it,” said Smith.

“It was dealt with by the players in the dressing room and I’m happy for that to happen, that’s the spirit in the dressing room.

Anwar El Ghazi and Tyrone Mings put their differences aside during half-time, says Dean Smith

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Anwar El Ghazi and Tyrone Mings put their differences aside during half-time, says Dean Smith

“Things happen in team sport in the heat of the moment and it was sorted very quickly. At half-time they spoke about it, shook hands and we move on.”

Smith was more concerned that his team failed to make the most of Arthur Masuaku’s dismissal in the 67th minute, with West Ham the more threatening despite their numerical disadvantage.

“What is disappointing is that we played just over 20 minutes against 10 men and couldn’t take advantage of that,” he added.

“We lost our structure and made mistakes and at times lost emotional control during that last 20 minutes or so.”

Dean Smith was disappointed his side didn’t take advantage of West Ham’s numerical disadvantage

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Dean Smith was disappointed his side didn’t take advantage of West Ham’s numerical disadvantage

Masuaku, booked in the first half, received a second yellow card for a soft-looking foul on Villa substitute Ahmed Elmohamady.

But Villa failed to really worry West Ham after that, instead inviting pressure on themselves through individual errors and silly fouls inside their own final third.

West Ham put Villa under pressure late on, with the hosts often leaving themselves two against two at the back, and in the end it was Smith’s side who survived.