Burnley 3-0 Bournemouth: VAR dominates yet again as Cherries equaliser is ruled out for a Burnley penalty – as Matej Vydra scores his second in two games
- Josh King thought he had opened the scoring before VAR spotted a handball
- Matej Vydra then scored a fine goal, his second in two games after a barren run
- Harry Wilson thought he had equalised after a gallivanting counter attack
- But VAR again ruled it out and instead awarded Burnley a penalty for handball
- Jay Rodriguez converted it and Dwight McNeil added a third to inflict misery
Again, you left a ground feeling disenchanted. Eddie Howe felt decidedly worse, wearing the look of someone about to burst into tears.
We will all get on with our lives after this, the perfect encapsulation of how barbaric this sport has become in the midst of an absurdity of a season, but what about Bournemouth? What about Howe?
It is not solely about VAR and its rotten implementation. It is the rules, specifically on handball, and how those are applied by the lads sat behind computer screens hundreds of miles away. It is about referees not taking ownership on the field anymore.
Josh King thought he had opened the scoring but VAR ruled out the goal for a handball
Matej Vydra scored his second goal in two games for Burnley with a fine finish
Harry Wilson thought he had equalised for Bournemouth after finishing off a counter attack
But VAR awarded a penalty to Burnley instead which Jay Rodriguez duly converted
MATCH FACTS, RATINGS AND LIVE LEAGUE TABLE
Burnley (4-4-2): Pope 7; Bardsley 7, Tarkowski 7, Mee 7, Taylor 7; Hendrick 6, Westwood 7, Cork 7 (Brownhill 90), McNeil 8 (Brady 90); Vydra 8.5 (Lennon 82), Rodriguez 8
Subs not used: Hart, Gudmundsson, Pieters, Long
Manager: Sean Dyche
Bournemouth (4-5-1): Ramsdale 7; Stacey 6, Francis 5, S Cook 5, Smith 5; H Wilson 6.5 (Solanke 74, 6), Gosling 6 (Fraser 70, 6), Billing 7, Surman 6.5, King 7 (Stanislas 70, 6); C Wilson 7
Subs not used: Boruc, L Cook, Rico, Simpson
Manager: Eddie Howe
Referee: Mike Dean 5
Season at a glance
All of the above are dramatically altering the mood of games and Bournemouth effectively had their legs taken away from underneath, twice on the wrong side of VAR calls.
‘Once the second one happens we fell apart mentally,’ Howe said. ‘We didn’t recover from that moment. It’s so difficult for the players. We’ve almost had a three-goal swing against us during the game. We have to use this as extra fuel. We have to create a siege mentality that everyone is against us if we want to stay in the division.’
Burnley were rampant by the conclusion and it would be remiss not to stress how superb they were, with panache and verve not always seen in these parts. Yet equally, Bournemouth might actually have won this match in previous years, pulling five points clear of the relegation zone in the process, in a time when the phrase ‘clear and obvious’ was not quite so contentious.
Not now, not after goals from Matej Vydra, Jay Rodriguez and Dwight McNeil sent Burnley eighth and wondering whether another tilt at Europe is in the offing. The whole story that is not, with Bournemouth incandescent at the officiating, watching Joshua King’s goal when this was level disallowed for a marginal handball that was pored over at Stockley Park.
Joshua King’s goal was disallowed for a marginal handball that was pored over at Stockley Park
The corner was adjudged to have come off Philip Billing’s arm before King prodded home
The league will argue it was right, that Philip Billing’s lower shoulder offered Howe’s side an unfair advantage from a corner, yet nobody here – not even in the home stands – would have bat an eye if Chris Kavanagh had stuck with Mike Dean’s original decision. The sight of a confused Phil Bardsley happily asking Dean why King’s finish had been ruled out said it all.
So Burnley eventually led eight minutes after half-time through Vydra and then extended that in comical circumstances in the 61st minute: Bournemouth scored and Burnley went 2-0 up in the same move.
Adam Smith stupidly leant his arm towards McNeil’s cross and again, it touched his lower shoulder. Dean played on, Bournemouth gallivanting on the break to devastating effect and Harry Wilson equalising. Pure, unadulterated, counter attacking. They celebrated wildly, a big goal in their quest for survival, while Kavanagh switched on the dreaded monitor.
Matej Vydra sold Simon Francis a dummy and deftly clipped over the despairing Ramsdale
Bournemouth gallivanted on the break to devastating effect and Harry Wilson equalised
The end result was a Burnley penalty, brought back 90 yards, and one Rodriguez stroked in. The decision was arguable – some will agree, others will not – and the prevailing emotion was injustice. Neil Moss, Bournemouth’s goalkeeping coach, was sent off for remonstrating and hopped into the away end for the remainder of the afternoon.
‘The first goal is one of those that you need to slow down,’ Howe added. ‘I don’t know when the shoulder became the arm. If that doesn’t get given then the second one doesn’t.
‘Mike didn’t give either, did he? I don’t blame him, it’s the process of VAR. He made the decision that it wasn’t a penalty. It’s grey, it’s not clear. The interpretation is way out of sync. I can’t understand it. You’ve got someone nowhere near Burnley deciding the game.’
But then VAR intervened and instead awarded a penalty to Burnley and disallowed the goal
Jay Rodriguez smartly converted the penalty after sending the goalkeeper the wrong way
Bournemouth goalkeeping coach Neil Moss was sent-off by referee Mike Dean amid the drama
Sean Dyche, for the record, thought both were handballs. ‘A tough day,’ he said. ‘That is the toughest it gets. I don’t think that’ll happen many times, a decision and them scoring 40 seconds later. It’s hard to take for them but a definite penalty.’
Burnley had cried penalty when Steve Cook’s clumsy defending ended up striking his arm but Kavanagh did not overturn the decision. East Lancashire howled, and not just because of the elements. Bournemouth, generally less direct than Burnley, weathered the wind in a more assured fashion before the break and somehow did not lead.
Nick Pope was busy, thwarting Callum Wilson’s volley on the turn after a lucky bounce, before standing tall to forearmed away Harry Wilson’s header as if goalkeeping on the beach.
McNeil finished the contest beautifully, cutting in from the right and smashing into the corner
The goal was a moment of real class that indicates why the big clubs are circling
Bournemouth’s frustrations boiled over as Adam Smith clashed with James Tarkowski
Burnley were beginning to create openings, however. Vydra’s inclusion – only his fourth Premier League start and first this season – gave them fresh ideas, an option of running in behind that just is not usually there.
Vyrda scored the winner at Southampton last week and made Aaron Ramsdale work exceptionally hard. Two missed chances came and went but not to be deterred, the Czech gave Burnley an advantage shortly after half-time. McNeil’s pass was simple but ultimately clever in setting Vydra away down the left and he did the rest, selling Simon Francis a dummy and deftly clipping over the despairing Ramsdale to score for the first time in 518 days.
Rodriguez netted the penalty, McNeil hit the post. McNeil finished it beautifully, cutting in from the right and smashing into Ramsdale’s top left-hand corner, a moment of real class that indicates why the big clubs are circling. Burnley certainly deserved it by the end, attacking without restraint, as Bournemouth could not come to terms with the foul nature of modern football.
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