But the major talking point of the game came as the video assistant referee adjudged Ollie Watkins’ upper arm was in an offside position after the Villa striker appeared to score a last-gasp equaliser for the visitors.
Watkins also struck the bar with a spot-kick in the 74th minute on what was a night to forget for Dean Smith’s men, who have now lost four of their last five matches in the English top flight.
Reacting to the loss, Villa captain Grealish tweeted: ‘Gutted with the result, can’t believe we’ve came away with nothing. We go again Friday.
‘As for VAR, I’ve shared my views before and it’s now just getting borderline embarrassing with some off the decisions. Ruining the game.’
On his Instagram page, the England attacking midfielder simply posted: ‘VAR Get rid.’
Smith admitted he was ‘disappointed’ with the loss as Villa dropped down to tenth place but refused to be drawn into the debate surrounding VAR.
‘I’m disappointed with the result but I thought we were great tonight,’ the Villa head coach said shortly after the final whistle.
‘We’ve had enough chances to win the game and that’s why it hurts so much.
‘They’ve given the decision offside for his arm but the only reason his arm is there is that he’s being fouled. If it’s not a goal it should have been a penalty.
‘I won’t go home thinking about VAR. It frustrates everyone but there’s nothing we can do about it.’
‘We showed resilience to get the three points as Aston Villa made it really difficult or us.
‘I don’t want us to play badly, I want us to play well but the team have been excellent generally.
‘The small things went for us tonight, we’ll take that and move on.’