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Match Reports

REPORT: Leicester City 2 Burnley 1

VAR controversy as Clarets denied late leveller at the King Power Stadium

19 October 2019

VAR raised its head and controversially denied the Clarets a point at the King Power Stadium.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche is a big advocate of the television review system but even his faith must have been tested by the verdict that cost the Clarets a late equaliser.

Leicester defender Jonny Evans got the final touch to bundle the ball into his own net after Kasper Schmeichel had saved from Chris Wood.

But after the ‘goal’ was automatically checked, Jon Moss was told by video assistant referee Andy Madley that he had seen a clip on Evans’ heels by Wood and the effort was disallowed.

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With the contact apparently unintentional and Evans seemingly having no chance of keeping the ball out of the net as he belatedly went to ground it looked an incredibly harsh interpretation and resulted in a second away defeat of the campaign for the Clarets, who had led through Wood’s fourth goal of the season.

Jamie Vardy’s equaliser and then a second-half strike from Youri Tielemans ultimately decided the outcome as Burnley’s four-game unbeaten run came to a frustrating end.

But VAR remained the major talking point as the clear and obvious seemed anything but in football’s brave new world.

Almost a year on from the accident that claimed the lives of former Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others, the Clarets were again part of another poignant afternoon.

To mark the anniversary of the Foxes’ loss which had preceded Burnley’s last visit here, a minute’s silence acted as a tribute to the chairman who helped deliver the Premier League title in 2016.

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While a repeat may be a distant dream, the current pack of Foxes under Brendan Rodgers had laid down their top-six credentials in the opening weeks of the season – losing just twice in eight games.

That run had left them just two points better off than the Clarets, however, and Dyche’s men underlined in an even first half just how closely matched the teams are.

Burnley were without Ashley Barnes for the first time this season due to a groin injury, with Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Jack Cork also sidelined as Jay Rodriguez and Robbie Brady both started their first two league games of the campaign.

Rodriguez made his 150th top-flight appearance alongside Wood, who stepped up impressively to become the outlet for a number of Burnley’s breaks in the absence of Barnes.

And it was Wood who put the Clarets ahead after 25 minutes with a goal against his former club.

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The Clarets had threatened a number of times on the counter-attack and when they got the ball forward again Wood was a central figure.

His control and pass out wide got Dwight McNeil in the game and the England Under-21 man needed no second invitation to cut in from the right flank and deliver a perfect left-footed cross which Wood headed powerfully into the top corner.

The effort from Wood – whose first Premier League goal had come as a Leicester player in 2014 – looked as though it would give the Clarets a priceless half-time lead.

But just a minute before the break the Foxes, beaten just once at home since Rodgers took charge in February, equalised.

Vardy had been a peripheral figure up to that point, his one sight of goal an effort he put into the side-netting on the break when he might have been given off-side.

James Maddison had gone closest for the home side with an effort blocked in front of goal by Ben Mee.

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But Vardy has always needed no more than a sniff of a chance to come alive and once again he proved it when getting above Mee to meet a cross from Harvey Barnes – son of ex-Claret Paul – and bury a header beyond Nick Pope to send the sides in level with his sixth goal of the season.

That lifted the Leicester players and the atmosphere inside the stadium as the momentum swung the Foxes’ way.

The Clarets were forced to dig in and try and keep the blue shirts at bay, doing a decent job of limiting their chances until the decisive strike 16 minutes from the end.

Ayoze Perez had wasted one opportunity with a shot over the top before being substituted and his replacement Demari Gray offered Leicester an extra option out wide.

And it was Gray’s ball in, flicked on by Barnes, which gave Tielemans the chance to drill a shot into the roof of the net for what, dramatically, turned out to be the winner.

Wood had a chance to strike back when he dragged an effort wide from James Tarkowksi’s knock-down as Burnley responded impressively.

But it was his next contribution that proved the most pivotal.

Matt Lowton's fine ball in looked as though it had served up a welcome equaliser with just 10 minutes to go.

But the decision to punish Wood's inadvertent part in the goal under-mined the Clarets’ rousing attempts to cap their late fightback with a tangible reward as they found VAR a turn-off.

Leicester City: Schmeichel; Pereira, Evans, Soyuncu, Chilwell; Ndidi; Tielemans, Perez (Gray 67), Maddison (Praet 73), Barnes (Morgan 79); Vardy. Substitutes: Ward, Justin, Albrighton, Choudhury.

Burnley: Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Pieters; Brady (Lennon 65), Hendrick, Westwood, McNeil; Wood, Rodriguez (Vydra 83). Substitutes: Hart, Taylor, Gibson, Bardsley, Long.

Booked: Hendrick, Tarkowski, Lowton.

Referee: Jon Moss

Attendance: 32,105 (Burnley 1,267)


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