Saturday, April 10, 2021

Burnley beat Bournemouth 3-0 amidst VAR farce


tiamin rice

Burnley moved up to eighth in the English Premier League, EPL, on Saturday with a 3-0 win over struggling Bournemouth.

It was all thanks to goals from Matej Vydra, Jay Rodriguez with a penalty kick and Dwight McNeil, in a game which saw a dramatic three-goal swing due to VAR.

There was early use of the review when Bournemouth had a Josh King effort in the 22th minute chalked off.

This was after VAR ruled that the ball had struck Philip Billing’s arm in the approach.

Burnley grabbed the lead in the 53rd minute with Czech striker Vydra claiming his second goal in as many games with a cool finish after being slipped through by McNeil.

But the game was to turn farcical on a remarkable minute of VAR reviewed action on the hour mark.

Burnley appealed in vain for a penalty kick, arguing that Adam Smith had handled a McNeil cross —- the resulting counter-attack ended with Callum Wilson feeding Harry Wilson who clipped past Nick Pope.

But VAR ruled that Smith had indeed handled — cancelling out the Bournemouth goal and awarding Burnley a penalty kick.

Rodriguez converted to make it 2-0 after 61 minutes, when moments earlier the score had stood at 1-1.

It was a moment that Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe said his team could not recover from.

“It’s so difficult for the players today. A three-goal swing against us and during the game it was too much.

“Once the second one happens we fell apart a bit mentally. Up until that point we’d been the better team. We didn’t recover from that moment,” said Howe.

Howe felt that both VAR handball decisions — which saw the ball strike the shoulder/upper arm area of the Bournemouth players — were wrong.

“I don’t know when the shoulder became the arm,” said Howe.

Vydra and Rodriguez went close to adding a third goal for Burnley.

McNeil, who hit the post with a beautiful curling effort moments later, rounded off the win with a superb solo goal in the 87th minute.

Burnley were nervously looking down at the relegation zone at the start of January.

But now they have picked up 13 points from the last 15 available and a push for a Europa League spot is not out of the question.

Vydra, who spent most of this season on the bench before a wonder goal as a substitute last week at Southampton, earned praise from Burnley boss Sean Dyche.

“He’s had to sit and wait for his chance. The best thing for me is he is working for his chance.

“He’s stretched the pitch. It’s been effective. Their centre-halfs would have thought about his pace and strength and his finish was sublime. He’s waited and waited and delivered. So, fair play,” he said.


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