Burnley boss Dyche dismisses Chelsea’s “anti-football” jibe

Sean Dyche dismissed Chelsea centre back David Luiz’s accusation that Burnley played “anti-football” to pick up a point at Stamford Bridge.

Tuesday, 23rd April 2019, 12:22 am
Updated Tuesday, 23rd April 2019, 2:19 am
Sean Dyche at Stamford Bridge

Burnley hit the 40-point mark to move nine clear of the drop zone with three games to play, and a superior goal difference to 18th place Cardiff City, with a 2-2 draw.

Jeff Hendrick’s stunning volley was cancelled out by N’Golo Kante and Gonzalo Higuain, before Ashley Barnes levelled.

But Chelsea were frustrated with Burnley’s perceived time wasting, and defensive resilience.

Sean Dyche at Stamford Bridge

Dyche said about the “anti-football” jibe: “Well, with a £58m wage bill, and making the most of players and trying to find a way to get 40 points in the Premier League, coming to venues like this, I’m pretty pleased to be fair, and delighted with the players.

“They’ve been first class, 28 points in 16 games, you can’t anti-football that.

“I’m telling you now, it’s impossible, you have to play some football to get 28 points in 16 games.”

Skipper Tom Heaton was booked after half an hour for time wasting, but Dyche countered: “I believe Tom Heaton’s booking was the earliest in the season for time wasting, and that solves it, so there can’t be any more time wasting.

“That’s our 48th game of the season, so if we’ve got players going down with cramp, with the amount of injuries we’ve had, a lot of these players have played virtually every minute.

“I don’t know how you could question that at this stage of the season, especially when the weather turns like this.”

The dying moments saw Chelsea boil over, with Maurizio Sarri dismissed, while there were angry scenes as Billy Mercer appeared to be confronted by injured Chelsea player Antonio Rudiger, while Luiz - who raised his hands to Barnes after an embarrassing first half dive in front of Dyche - continued to vent his frustrations.

Dyche said: “I was over clapping our fans, they’ve been amazing, it’s Bank Holiday Monday, we more or less filled it, the club made a gesture as well, which is great, by the time I turned round, there was something going off on the edge of the pitch - I still haven’t worked out what - and I went down the tunnel and it was more of the same.

“In my day, hand bags, man bags, bum bags, I don’t know what you’re allowed to call it without offending anyone anymore.

“I don’t think anything of it.

“We are allowed to get a point every now and again at these places...”

And while it isn’t signed and sealed, Burnley would have to lose all three and Cardiff win all three remaining games, with a swing in goal difference, to condemn the Clarets now: “I think I work on facts, and I believe we’re in a very, very super-strong position, but you’ve got to work on facts.

“But that’s a big marker, 40 points, we know where that lives in the Premier League historically, but we’ve got to see it through obviously.

“I’m extremely proud, really, really important we could get that last point, that 40th point, we all know that, very tough place to come to, and I thought they were terrific, the first half an hour they were outstanding.

“We scored a goal but they responded, they go 2-1 up and they’re in control of the game, without doubt.

“So many technically good players, and we had to stay diligent to the cause.

“We did, and then we nick a second, and the game calmed slightly before half-time.

“I thought we started the second half quite well, but as we know, we’ve had to back in, camp in and defend properly to get that last point, and the players deserve a lot of credit for that.”