Leon Bailey

Leon Bailey has hit out at Lisandro Martinez and referee Anthony Taylor after his clash with the Manchester United defender in Sunday’s game at Villa Park.

Aston Villa secured a superb 3-1 win over Erik ten Hag’s side in what was Unai Emery’s first game in charge since taking over as manager following the sacking of Steven Gerrard.

Bailey opened the scoring, before goals from Lucas Digne and Jacob Ramsey, either side of a Ramsey own goal, lifted Emery’s new side up to 13th.

It was a frustrating afternoon for the Red Devils which was demonstrated just after the hour mark during a coming together between Bailey and Martinez.

As the Argentinian defender attempted to see the ball out of play for a United goal kick in the 64th minute, Bailey tried to win the ball by pressuring Martinez.

The centre-back then appeared to throw a couple of elbows towards Bailey’s stomach but he escaped unpunished, despite being just a few yards away from the linesman and in the sight of the referee – United were awarded a goal kick instead.

And Bailey took to social media after the game to slam the officials and highlighted his shock at not winning at least a free kick following the clash.

The Jamaican forward tweeted: ‘Very disappointed in the referees today, I couldn’t breath for a second after getting elbowed twice in my rib.

‘The linesman went on to say I shouldn’t be saying anything because I was doing just the same thing to Martinez.

‘Sometimes I don’t understand why we got VAR. SMH (shaking my head).

Bailey was subbed soon afterwards for John McGinn as Villa held out for the 3-1 win.

Despite the altercation, it was another fine afternoon for Bailey who is enjoying a promising campaign.

He has scored twice and provided one assists in his last three games, and has three goals and two assists in 11 Premier League starts.

Bailey joined Villa from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer of 2021 for a reported £30m fee but struggled with form and fitness, as he racked up just one goal and two assists in the Premier League last season.

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