EPL

Don’t get me on referees again – Vincent Kompany unhappy after Burnley draw

By Sports Desk April 02, 2024

Burnley manager Vincent Kompany was left to rue another refereeing decision after his relegation-battling side were held to a 1-1 draw by Wolves.

A day after Kompany said refereeing standards in the Premier League this season have “not been good enough”, the Belgian disputed Thomas Bramall’s decision to award Wolves the free-kick from which Rayan Ait-Nouri cancelled out Jacob Bruun Larsen’s goal deep into first half stoppage time.

Ait-Nouri went down under a challenge from Dara O’Shea, but Kompany said there had been no contact between the two.

“Don’t get me on referees again!” Kompany said.

“But if we have to, of course, it was an issue. If you do a pirouette and you fall on your own, absolutely no contact made, then it’s just not a foul, I think we can all agree on this.

“But then as well the referee is in the best position ever, a really good position, he sees it, I can see it from three times as far as he is and for some reason there’s a decision made out of nothing.

“Then I look at my own team, and how we defend the set-play, that’s always the case, but yes, it’s a repeat and it doesn’t make it any easier.”

The draw extended Burnley’s unbeaten run to four games, but the gap to safety grew to six points as Nottingham Forest beat Fulham 3-1.

Burnley were on top for much of the game, but could not make their dominance pay. However, Kompany saw it as a point gained rather than two lost.

“We played in every sense how we were supposed to,” he said.

“We were aggressive, we were on the front foot, we created chances. I feel at every level it was a good performance. I’ll take the point and we go again.

“I can only praise the players. They looked like a Premier League team today. It doesn’t buy us any points or get us any higher in the league. Perhaps we belong a little bit higher if it hadn’t been for so many bad decisions.

“Right now we’ve not earned the right to remain in the Premier League. All we need is a fighting chance, that’s all. It was never going to be an easy season, it’s not surprising we are where we are but what I can guarantee you is that until the very last moment we will keep fighting.”

Wolves boss Gary O’Neil called the draw a “fair result” as his injury-hit side had to dig in to earn a point that takes them to 42 for the campaign, surpassing last season’s total.

Ait-Nouri’s header was his third goal in four for Wolves as he plays in a more advanced role while several forwards have been out injured.

Although the Algerian squandered a superb chance in the second half when played in one-on-one, O’Neil is grateful for his goal-scoring form.

“He’s doing unbelievably well with the changes and the different areas we’re asking him to pop up in,” he said.

“Not very often but occasionally he looks like a left-back, unfortunately those two times have been when he’s six yards with just the goalkeeper to beat, but an unbelievable performance from him again.

“Burnley would have fancied this. Wolves coming with no Pedro Neto, no Matheus Cunha, no (Hee Chan) Hwang, no (Jean-Ricner) Bellegarde, no (Craig) Dawson, Burnley would have seen this as a game they could go and try and win, definitely.

“And the lads didn’t look like a team that had reached 41 points and were happy to settle. I thought they fought, worked, showed moments of quality. I’m really proud of what they produced and the situation is looking brighter.”

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