El Ghazi in the clear for play-offs

By Graham Hill

VILLA winger Anwar El Ghazi will NOT now face a three match ban after being sent off in the explosive clash at Leeds on Sunday.

El Ghazi’s red card was today rescinded after TV replays showed he made no contact with Leeds striker Patrick Bamford who fell to the ground as if he had been hit.

There will also be no action taken against Villa midfielder Conor Hourihane after replays showed him appearing to strike Leeds goalscorer Mateusz Klich.

The clashes came after Leeds’ controversial opening goal which came after play appeared to be have been stopped to allow Villa striker Jonathan Kodjia to have treatment.

Ref Stuart Atwell spoke to his assistant who saw Bamford go down – apparently after being struck by El Ghazi.

TV replays showed clearly that no contact was made and El Ghazi will now be able to play in both legs of Villa’s play-off semi-final.

A dismissal for violent conduct would have ruled him out of a likely Midlands derby with West Brom to see who goes to Wembley.

The decision is a relief for boss Dean Smith although Villa were confident of winning their appeal against the red card.

Smith has been raving about El Ghazi’s contributions in recent weeks with the Morocco international playing a key part in Villa’s unbeaten march to the play-offs.

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa defused the situation at Elland Road by allowing Villa a ‘free’ goal to level the scores with Albert Adomah walking the ball in despite the attentions of Pontus Jansson.

The two sides could meet again in the play-offs and Bielsa was quick to try and nip any long standing resentment in the bud.

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