Burnley boss blasts both Olympiacos and match officials

Sean Dyche blasted the conduct of Olympiacos players and officials following the 3-1 defeat in the first leg of the Europa League play-off in Athens.

Clarets boss Sean Dyche
Clarets boss Sean Dyche

The Burnley boss wasn't backwards in coming forward when questioned in the post match press conference at the Karaiskakis Stadium, venting his fury at the behaviour of the hosts.

Incredibly, only Lazaros Christodoulopoulos received a yellow card when the home side's bench stormed the pitch to protest against a decision made by referee Slavko Vincic.

Players, substitutes and the management team demonstrated vehemently when the Slovenian official refused to award a penalty after Kostas Fortounis's cross struck Stephen Ward's arm.

Clarets boss Sean Dyche

And they'd reacted in a similar manner, though not quite as animatedly, when Chris Wood won a penalty for the Clarets having taken a tumble under the challenge of Mady Camara.

Dozens of Olympiacos officials then waited for Vincic and his assistants in the tunnel at half-time to question his decisions.

“After the incident where they tried for a penalty, which wasn’t a penalty, I don’t know how many people ran on the pitch and surrounded the referee and the linesman and the officials," the Clarets chief said.

"All I keep getting told is respect the officials with your conduct around the referee.

"The scenes I saw at half-time from all and sundry around the referee on their side. They were waiting for the referee. You all saw the feel of the game was different in the second half. You’re left scratching your head."

He added: “There were plenty of people involved in the tunnel, waiting for the referee to come in and let him know ion no uncertain times what they felt.

“We are given very strict guidelines from UEFA and the Premier League about respect towards the referees and we did what we always do in that we walked straight down the tunnel into our dressing room. And at the end by the way too. You didn’t see me speak to the officials at all.

“It was interesting because there were that many people involved. It wasn’t just the people on the bench, it was all sorts of people from the offices. The tea lady was there at one point! That’s a joke."

After the break, with the visitors trailing 2-1, Vincic then handed Olympiacos a spot kick of their own, giving Ben Gibson his marching orders in the process when brandishing a second yellow card for handball.

Speaking about both elements of that decision, Dyche said: "There were plenty of people there making it clear they were not happy with the referee’s performance.

“They miraculously...when one of our players goes to block the ball, it hits his hip then his hand, that’s deemed a professional handball and he’s sent off.

"I feel for our fans, they’ve come a long way to see a balanced game and haven’t seen that. Hopefully next week will be more even."