BURNLEY, England (Reuters) - Burnley’s 67-match wait for a penalty ended with Ashley Barnes’ stoppage time equaliser in the 1-1 draw against Southampton on Saturday but manager Sean Dyche was left bemused by an earlier decision against his side.
The goalscorer was at the centre of the first incident, Barnes racing into the box before going down as Saints keeper Alex McCarthy slid out in front of him.
Referee Anthony Taylor waved away the appeal and booked the enraged Barnes for ‘simulation’.
“Today I was just flummoxed, I can’t believe what I have seen even if people disagree, it is as clear as I have seen in a long time,” said Dyche.
“The keeper tries to do his job and the attacker does the same. The keeper brings him down and it cannot be any clearer. He falls naturally too and that’s what worries me. When people dive they get penalties. You see that today it has to worry you,” said the Burnley boss, who has frequently complained about diving in the game.
Dyche said Burnley had been on the wrong end of refereeing decisions in their last two league games which also ended in draws.
A late Chris Wood effort in the 0-0 draw at Watford was ruled out for offside and Dyche had argued that Victor Lindelof’s equaliser in Tuesday’s 2-2 draw at Manchester United came from an offside position.
“That’s three big games and big decisions could have cost us but we still managed to get three points out of it, It would’ve been ridiculous if we hadn’t got anything out of it today.
“But one thing I am pleased about is we did get a penalty and it did mean something, rather than coming when the game has gone - but we should have had two (penalties),” he said.
Burnley’s penalty came when Peter Crouch, the 38-year-old former England international, who joined the club from Stoke City on deadline day, rose to head a cross and Saints defender Jack Stephens handled.
The lanky Crouch’s introduction in the 76th minute unsettled the Southampton defence and Dyche said he felt the veteran could prove to be a valuable addition.
“Crouch can play, he knows the game and can adapt. And he causes confusion. The ball goes into the box and people are wondering who is doing what. We think he will be good around the group as well and that’s part of it,” he said.
Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Pritha Sarkar