Mings and El Ghazi squared up after the centre back expressed his displeasure at the Dutchman’s failure to track back on the left, with El Ghazi appearing to move his head towards Mings’ as they nearly came to blow.
The incident was checked by VAR, with referee Mike Dean giving both players a firm talking to, and Grealish has suggested the matter was moved on from swiftly in the dressing room.
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“It’s all handbags.
“When you’re out there, [it’s] heat of the moment.
“As soon as we got into half-time, it was all put to bed. Shake hands. We all said that can’t be happening out on the pitch.”
Newcastle’s Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer were infamously dismissed after a scrap in a game against Villa in 2005.
And while this incident did not escalate to the level of that particularly heated fracas, the Villa players would have had a nervy moment while the clash was checked.
Manager Dean Smith praised his players for their professionalism in taking charge and dealing with the incident quickly.
“That is the group of players I have got,” Smith said. “There is a great togetherness in the dressing room, with a great team spirit. It went over the edge of what we want.
“But the players dealt with it swiftly and I am happy for them to do that. We are playing a team sport. It is competitive and there will be heat-of-the-moment things that happen.
“I expect players to take responsibility. There is a limit you can’t step over. We’ve got a really good leadership group and they sort that out themselves.”
“I have stopped trying to work out what the officials’ decisions will be,” he said when asked if he was concerned El Ghazi might be sent off.
“Anwar has a little bit of red mist in him, like most professional footballers. It is one of those things.
“I didn’t think of taking him off. That is the end of it. It won’t get brought up again.”
West Ham lost Arthur Masukaku in the second half of the game at Villa Park with the left-back dismissed for a second bookable offence, but secured an away point, though Manuel Pellegrini’s side missed out on a chance to move into the top three of the English Premier League table.
It was, otherwise, a game rather lacking in inspiration and event, with little in the way of goalmouth action, and neither goalkeeper tested particularly strenuously.
The point takes Aston Villa out of the relegation zone.
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