Sean Dyche described Raul Jimenez as ‘clever’ to win Wolves’ penalty in the 1-1 draw against Burnley at Molineux.
VAR showed Erik Pieters tripped Jimenez as they tussled for Ruben Neves’s low shot in the decisive moment for Wolves to equalise in the 97th minute after Ashley Barnes put the Clarets ahead in the first half.
But Burnley boss Dyche saw it differently and believes the Mexico international ‘played’ for the spot kick. “I think it’s a harsh penalty,” said Dyche. “I am a big believer in VAR, but Erik is going to clear the ball and their lad actually jumps in front of him.
“It’s clever, but Erik does catch him, and, although I think there’s a strong chance that VAR overturns that, there was contact in the box and so it’s a tough call.”
Burnley were the better team in the first period when Ben Mee also headed against the bar and Chris Wood was superbly denied by Rui Patricio.
“On reflection it could easily have been all three points. It was a very good performance and we opened them up enough times in the first half to be more than one goal up,” added Dyche. “I don’t think anyone could have argued if we’d been two or three up at the break.”
Dyche admitted that although he thought his side had done enough to win the game, he feared there might be a sting in the tail for Burnley as Wolves improved after the break. Morgan Gibbs-White and substitute Adama Traore fired wide while Jimenez struck the post.
“We expected a reaction after half-time, of course, but I thought we calmed the game down before we just got a little bit camped in for the last 10 or 15 minutes,” said the Turf Moor chief.
“We had two or three counters in the second half though that we should have done better with and just couldn’t find that moment to seal the game. That leaves you wondering if there’s to be a final twist and unfortunately for us, there was.”
Burnley lie sixth after three games and Dyche is delighted with their start, despite feeling as if they could have had an extra two points.
Dyche added: “Sometimes you get a bit drunk on it all because you are so close to three points – and we were. It was a bitter pill to swallow, but it is still a good point. We’ve just had to swallow one, but there were a lot of good things. Sometimes a scoreline changes the feeling, but it shouldn’t in this case because that was a really strong performance.
“Everyone was talking about the tough start, but four points from the first three games is a good return, and it’s from three good performances as well.
“That’s really important because we are showing we are a group who are keen to get results in the Premier League. That’s going to be important as the season goes on.”