Dyche finally gets a penalty but VAR denies him another
While Sean Dyche has spent the season complaining about penalties, his gripe was different on a day when Burnley were awarded two and allowed to take one as confusion reigned at Turf Moor.
As Dyche often notes, Burnley have not been given a penalty in the Premier League since April 2017 but referee Simon Hooper twice pointed to the spot. The first decision was reversed because of the video assistant referee, with Dyche annoyed with the long delay, but Chris Wood scored from the second to eliminate Barnsley.
This was forgettable fare apart from the controversy as VAR, a 21st-century phenomenon, made its debut at a 19thcentury ground. Burnley’s summer signing Matej Vydra earned the two spot-kicks. He was tripped by Liam Lindsay – “an absolute stonewaller,” said Dyche – when Wood drilled in the winner and was nudged over by Dimi Cavare in the first half. Vydra was just starting his run-up to take the first penalty until he was belatedly ruled offside in the build-up to the award.
“It is factually right but my frustration is about the timing,” said Dyche. “It brought a strangeness to the stadium and everyone was a bit confused. It was 80-90 seconds and me and my staff looked at it and decided in four seconds it was offside. I am a big fan of the concept of VAR but it will take time to iron it out.”
Barnsley manager Daniel Stendel said: “We profit from this but for me it is better the ref on the pitch decides.”
Barnsley, whose fans had chorused “VAR” after Burnley’s first penalty was overturned, had a goal chalked off by the video referee when the offside Cameron McGeehan headed in Ben Williams’ cross.
Alex Mowatt also whistled a late free-kick wide but the fit-again Nick Pope kept a clean sheet on his first appearance since July. “I’m really pleased,” said Dyche. “He had a quiet but efficient day.”
Barnsley failed to record an effort on target and, while Burnley were scarcely more creative, they missed a series of headed chances, with Dwight McNeil the major culprit, before Wood spared them a replay.