Offside has to be given - Dyche

Clarets boss Sean Dyche feels the offside decision which cost Burnley a precious point at Arsenal, "has to be given" at Premier League level.

Sunday, 22nd January 2017, 5:33 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd January 2017, 9:17 am
Andre Gray celebrates scoring from the spot
Andre Gray celebrates scoring from the spot

With Burnley set for only a second away point of the season, Ben Mee was adjudged to have caught Arsenal centre back Laurent Koscielny with a high boot - though the France international was clearly offside.

Alexis Sanchez tucked the penalty away, and 10-man Arsenal claimed a 2-1 win.

Koscielny had scored an injury time winner at Turf Moor, despite being offside and the ball coming off his arms, and Dyche was somwhat aggrieved: "It's bizarre to think there's been two last-minute decisions against the same side, home and away, has cost us two points.

"It's an unfortunate twist of fate.

"Ben has to make the challenge, because the lad, who's offside, is a body ahead of him, and he has to work extra hard to try and get around him, to make the challenge.

"If he was level, he wouldn't have had to make the challenge, he would have dealt with the ball, or it would have gone out.

"Earlier in the game, Giroud goes for an overhead kick, and I said to the fourth official, 'surely that's dangerous play?', but he said he wasn't close enough to it."Ben is clearly going for the ball, he only has eyes for it, the lad is stooping to head's an honest challenge. But he's offside and the linesman has to give that."

Andre Gray celebrates scoring from the spot

Shkodran Mustafi gave the Gunners a second half lead with a header from a Mezut Ozil corner, before Granit Xhaka was sent off for a poor challenge on Steven Defour.

Ashley Barnes was brought down in injury time by Francis Coquelin, with boyhood Arsenal fan Andre Gray beating Petr Cech from the spot.

However, Arsenal were gifted a cruel winner, and Dyche felt his players deserved better: "I thought we came with the right mentality to perform against a very good side, and I thought we worked diligently to soften their threat - I can't say stop it, because they have threats from all over the pitch.

"But we looked effective at times on the counter, which you have to at places like this, so we're pleased with all of that, and then they get the lad sent off - I haven't seen that one, I don't know if it's a sending off or not - but we had to work hard to get something, because they're packing numbers behind and breaking themselves, which they do effectively.

Andre Gray celebrates scoring from the spot

"We get back in it, and then, you can't believe the decision."

The offside rule means flags are kept down until offside players show interest in, or touch the ball, and the delay proved costly: "The mad thing about it now, is they have to wait until something happens, before they get the flag up.

"Before, they'd just put the flag up because he's offside. So he has to wait, then the ref gives a decision, and then the linesman has to be brave because he's under pressure.

"He's thinking 'god, he's given a penalty, what do I do now?'

"Not literally, but if he just put his flag up, he's offside, simple as that.

"So that's really disappointing.

"What do you do? It's one of those things, you can only hope over a season you get a decision back."You don't want to cry it in, we just hope for balance over the season. When you play these top sides, you need to play well, to stop them playing well, a bit of the rub of the green, and the officials to do well. Overall, they did well, but I don't think at this level you can get that one wrong, because it's so clear. We're not talking about an inch, it's two-thirds of a body's width. That has to be given."

Pep Guardiola is keen for a meeting with PGMOB chief Mike Riley about the application of the rules in England, but Dyche won't go down that route: "I don't think there's any point. However many people are watching it out there saw it.

"What are you going to prove? It's just a bad moment. It's unfortunate, because it cost us a point, and that's two against Arsenal, but generally the officials are good, I like what they do, because it's very tough.

"Retrospective banning for cheating would make their job easier, but this was just a moment in time, when the linesman doesn't make a decision which is quite obvious, at this level."

Meanwhile, Dyche is waiting on news on the severity of Dean Marney's injury, having been stretchered off after twisting his knee in a challenge on Sanchez.