Over the years, being a Burnley supporter has caused one to develop a sense of paranoia, which manifests itself in the certain belief that there are forces, both seen and unseen, which combine to prevent the Clarets from receiving what is justly theirs; that marginal rub-of-the-green that happens to other teams, but never Burnley.
Such thoughts may well be entertained by fans of other clubs, but in Burnley’s case, there is irrefutable statistical evidence to support them; the ridiculously low number of penalties awarded to the Clarets and the disproportionately high number of late goals conceded which the laws of football dictate should not have been awarded.
The introduction of VAR at the start of this season offered a ray of hope that such inequities would be banished, or at least reduced, but Clarets fans knew deep down, in the darkest recesses of their souls, that the unseen hand of the powers that be would find some way of contorting it to Burnley’s disadvantage.
Yesterday at Leicester’s King Power Stadium, VAR intervened to rule out what was to all intents and purposes a perfectly good equalising goal, when the Foxes’ Jonny Evans fumbled and stumbled to put the ball into his own goal, under (legitimate) pressure from Chris Wood.
It was a goal which would have stood last season, and if there was contact between Wood and Evans, it was both inadvertent and insufficient to cause the defender to fall over.
Surely I am not alone in the view that had the incident been at the other end, the goal would have been allowed?
As it was, Burnley were wrongly denied what would have been a valuable point from a match against tough and in form opponents.
Annoying and frustrating as the eventual outcome was, there was much about Burnley’s play that was satisfactory and which on another day – under more benign supervision – would have yielded not just one, but all three points.
Chris Wood is currently enjoying one of those surges in form that happens from time to time during the season and is the product of sheer hard work on the training ground.
Wood's towering first half header from Dwight McNeill’s cross evaded Kasper Schmeichel’s finger tips and deposited itself in the roof of the Leicester goal to give Burnley the lead.
Sadly, the lead could not be maintained until the interval, and as first half stoppage time beckoned, Harvey Barnes’ cross was met on the far post by Jamie Vardy’s head to equalise. Note to VAR, Vardy’s hands were on Ben Mee’s back as he leapt to meet the cross… just saying !
Leicester have some fine players, and Brendan Rogers has assembled a decent team. In their Belgian midfielder Youri Tielemans, they surely have a future star on their hands. His influence on the second half was immense and after 74 minutes he provided what proved to be the winner.
Matt Lowton abandoned his vigil on Tielemans and was caught ball-watching as Gray’s cross found its way through to the far post where the Belgian gleefully drilled his shot past Nick Pope.
The match was played against the backdrop of the anniversary of the helicopter crash which claimed the life of, amongst others, Leicester’s owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. Ironically, Burnley werethe visitors last year for Leicester’s first home game after the tragedy.
Then as yesterday, Clarets fans participated respectfully in the tributes. In a week when some who purport to follow the game dragged its reputation through the gutter, that at least is pleasing to report.
Next up for Burnley is a testing encounter with Frank Lampard’s in-form Chelsea and their coterie of precocious youngsters, in a tea time kick off at Turf Moor.
Burnley will need to be on their mettle and could do with a bit of help from VAR. Please, let's not have to rely on the noxious Moss to get a result?
Post match analysis written by uber Clarets Mad follower Dave Thornley. Moss will never grow under this obese referee's watch. (TEC.)