Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard has hit back on Arsenal striker Bukayo Saka after the Englishman complained about his treatment at Villa Park on Saturday.
Saka revealed that he spoke with the match officials wanting protection from opposition players after he notched the only goal in the tie.
In an interview with BT Sports, Saka said: “I wasn’t complaining to the ref, but I just wanted to let him know that that’s my game, running at players with pace and sometimes I need a bit more protection when players are purposefully trying to kick me.”
Gerrard has given a reply to the comments stating that it should be a learning moment for the England international.
“He’s a good player, an outstanding talent. I love him. But he can’t complain about that side of it, that’s football. I’m sitting here now with screws in my hips. I’ve had about 16 operations. I’m struggling to go to the gym at the moment.
“That’s all on the back of earning a living in English football. He’ll learn and he’ll learn quick. He said we were too rough? They didn’t commit any fouls today? Listen, it’s part of the game. The last time I checked, it wasn’t a no-contact sport. I think tackles are allowed, physicality is allowed, aggression is allowed as long as it’s fair,” Gerrard said.
Villa who have done well since the arrival of the Englishman ahs a date with Wolves in their next tie as they aim to qualify for Europe next season.