Rowett in rage over Cos­tel-ly red row

Daily Star Sunday - - RESULT! - By Dave Ar­mitage By JA­NINE SELF

BURNLEY boss Sean Dy­che summed it up per­fectly – the oc­ca­sion was al­ways go­ing to be big­ger than the game.

The script hadn’t got this one down as a 0-0 but that’s the way it goes some­times.

Af­ter the tragedy out­side the King Power Sta­dium two weeks ago yes­ter­day, foot­ball took sec­ond place.

Dy­che said: “It was tricky. You want to win but if you did it still would have been pretty much in­ci­den­tal.

“It was very tough on us – even more so on Leicester. It was hard. Leicester fans wouldn’t ex­pect a team to come here and just let things hap­pen.

“It’s kind of strange when the oc­ca­sion was big­ger than the ac­tual game but I’ve got to­tal pro­fes­sional re­spect for Leicester and their play­ers.

“And I’ve got great pride in my lads too be­cause we’ve had a pretty tough run of results. But I thought we were bet­ter to­day.”

Leicester’s Marc Al­brighton ad­mit­ted the club was still griev­ing. He said: “This week has been hard. We went to Thai­land and paid our re­spects to Vichai and his fam­ily. It is some­thing we felt we wanted to do.

“It is a tough time for ev­ery­one but ev­ery­one has done their part. Every sin­gle per­son at this club has stuck to­gether.

“It’s go­ing to be a tough road. The lads are emo­tion­ally drained. To­day was one of the hard­est games I have ever played. It’s hard to fo­cus.” They were all there – ti­tle-win­ning boss Clau­dio Ranieri and pre­vi­ous bosses Nigel Pear­son and Craig Shake­speare along with the owner’s son Aiyawatt, or ‘Top’ as he’s bet­ter known.

All there, bar one – Vichai Sri­vad­dhanaprabha, the man whose tragic death made this oc­ca­sion such a heart-wrench­ing af­fair.

Dy­che’s men and their sup­port­ers acted re­spect­fully as they found them­selves wrapped up in an oc­ca­sion in which they were only bit-part play­ers. When Leicester sub Shinji Okazaki flashed a header just wide of the an­gle in stop­page time, you could sense in the groan from the crowd that this game was not go­ing to fin­ish the way fate might have dic­tated.

A goal­less draw will never be so well re­mem­bered. From the rain­bow beam­ing eerily over the Fam­ily Stand to the sight of the play­ers and Top taking an emo­tional lap of ap­pre­ci­a­tion round the pitch, the match was largely unim­por­tant.

Had it not been for Burnley keeper Joe Hart, Leicester would have recorded the win they de­served over the 90 min­utes.

They didn’t get it and it didn’t re­ally mat­ter. But if any­one needed to look for a rea­son, Hart was the key fig­ure. For­mer Leicester man Chris Wood might well have re­ally been the pan­tomime vil­lain late on but volleyed over.

The home side should have been in front by the in­ter­val af­ter dom­i­nat­ing the big­gest part of the open­ing 45 min­utes and Rachid Ghez­zal had every right to feel par­tic­u­larly ag­grieved to see his 21st-minute div­ing header thump against the cross­bar.

While Kasper Sch­me­ichel had mainly rou­tine work to do in that open­ing pe­riod, Hart was by far the busier.

He had to go low to his right early on to fin­ger­tip a Wil­fred Ndidi 25-yarder and a minute later Char­lie Taylor was extremely lucky to sur­vive penalty ap­peals.

And when Hart could only get a hand to a Marc Al­brighton cross, Jamie Vardy’s fol­low-up was cleared off the line by Matt Low­ton. GARY ROWETT has al­ready had a brush with the law-mak­ers this sea­son so he was stay­ing on the right side of the rules hav­ing met with ref­eree Oliver Lang­wood af­ter the game.

Stoke boss Rowett wanted to find out why For­est keeper Cos­tel Pan­til­imon es­caped a red card af­ter sprint­ing out of the area and con­nect­ing with Benik Afobe in the first half.

Rowett said: “The FA ex­pect man­agers to be­have and I would ex­pect ref­er­ees to make the right de­ci­sion at the right time. He’s got it hor­ri­bly wrong.

“I’ve been to see him, I haven’t be­rated him but he’s made a mis­take. He be­lieves Benik jumped out of the way but he’s caught him. I’ve seen it on re­play, 10 times.”

A game de­void of any mean­ing­ful ac­tion – un­less you count the fan­bait­ing of mid­fielder James McClean – burst into life half­way through the first half.

Afobe’s run sucked Pan­til­imon to the outer edge of the area and he made a des­per­ate at­tempt to stop the Stoke striker.

Afobe tum­bled and, in­stead of pick­ing him­self up and knock­ing the ball into an empty net, turned to the ref­eree to ap­peal for a de­ci­sion. Lang­ford’s cards stayed put.

Every mem­ber of the Stoke staff was as pur­ple-faced as the team’s un­der­whelm­ing away strip, ut­terly con­vinced they had been robbed. Fu­elled by rage they then hit a pur­ple patch on the pitch.

Chief tor­menter was McClean, who ob­served the minute’s si­lence with his team-mates and who looked quite un­con­cerned by the home fans’ ire as he skipped up and down the wings.

It was one such run which re­quired a last-gasp clear­ance by Ten­dayi Darikwa. McClean also hit the side-net­ting.

The sec­ond half was bet­ter than the first and the last five or so min­utes were belting, es­pe­cially if you hap­pened to be Jack But­land.

First But­land turned a Joe Lol­ley shot wide and then, twice, he closed down to deny Lewis Grab­ban.

For­est man­ager Ai­tor Karanka said: “In the first half we showed them too much re­spect.”

REF MIST: Gary Rowett

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