Dyche frustrated by another controversial late Arsenal winner
Clarets boss Sean Dyche was frustrated with the controversial penalty decision which cost his side a deserved point against Arsenal at Turf Moor.
For the third successive time against the Gunners, Arsene Wenger’s side snatched a winner with a contentious moment.
James Tarkowski had his hands on Aaron Ramsey’s back, and the Wales midfielder went to ground, with it unlikely that he would have got on the end of the ball.
Referee Lee Mason, who it is fair to say isn’t Burnley fans’ favourite official going back a decade, pointed to the spot, and Alexis Sanchez squeezed the penalty past Nick Pope, the first goal Burnley have conceded since their last defeat at Manchester City.
Mason had infuriated the Turf Moor crowd, issuing bookings to Steven Defour for dissent, and a challenge by Robbie Brady on Nacho Monreal, but ignoring Arsenal indiscretions throughout.
Dyche said: “I thought it was highly unlikely the penalty wasn’t going to get given, at that stage, I think you can all make your conclusions from that, working backwards.
“It’s a tough one, it probably is a penalty, but my point is it was never not going to be given on today’s performance, I can assure you.
“When the ball is four feet over his head, that’s the hardest part, but I need to make it clear, you lay your hands on someone, he goes down - not in a cheating way, because he was nudged - they’re tough calls. But at that stage of the game, you have to be 100%, which I presume the referee was.
“Look, it’s a tough job the referees have, there’s no point me saying too much about it, it’s not going to change today. But there were some frustrations with some of the moments today.”
Dyche was, however, delighted with his players’ performance, particularly in a first half where they delivered the mixed football he wants, causing Arsenal all manner of problems.
He said: “I thought we were excellent, the first half in particular, the way we played with the ball and defended against a fine side was really good, really pleasing.
“They had a good first 20 minutes of the second half, which these teams can do, and then we evened it out a bit and got a grip of it again, and started to still try and make chances.
“We kept them to minimal really overall, for a side of that quality, and we had some good moments.
“I think it’s going towards a draw and a big decision, but we’ve had a few of them go against us.
“It’s a tough one, I’m very outcome based and when you don’t get what you want - we went out to win, never mind draw, but you take a draw if it’s going that way. When you don’t even get that, you’re frustrated, but I’m not frustrated in the performance or the players, I thought they were terrific against a top class side with top class players.
“We’ve limited them, played our own football, been productive within that, had moments, made the keeper work, and if you come away with a clean sheet, I think everyone would think it’s a deserved point.
“I think we’ve made a good show of that this season, we’ve deserved everything we’ve got, we’ve had a couple of moments of a twist of fate, but generally our performances have warranted what we’ve got.
“I thought today was one that got away, and warranted at least a point.
“They had very few real chances, where our keeper had to work, and that’s a marker in itself against a side who open teams up.
“There were definite signs of us continuing to move forward. But there’s still a long way to go.”