‘Shocked’ by the decision to allow Luton equalizer
Ian Parker, PA, reports that Vincent Kompany fumed over the decision to allow Luton’s controversial stoppage-time equalizer as Burnley was denied a crucial three points in a 1-1 draw against their relegation rivals at Turf Moor.
Carlton Morris headed the ball into an empty net after Elijah Adebayo blocked Burnley goalkeeper James Trafford as he tried to claim Alfie Doughty’s cross. Still, referee Tony Harrington was unmoved, and VAR Peter Bankes upheld the goal following a lengthy check.
After Zeki Amdouni’s 36th-minute goal, Burnley had been moments away from celebrating a win that would have put them a point behind Luton and within touching distance of safety. Still, instead, the Hatters moved level on points with 17th-placed Everton.
Luton's number nine. pic.twitter.com/v9CAcXyJ0I
— Luton Town FC (@LutonTown) January 12, 2024
“It’s a joke, a joke,” the Burnley boss said. “I will start by saying 100 percent respect and credit to Luton; they’re a terrific outfit, what they do as a club, the players, managers, they deserve whatever is coming to them, a perfect club.
“In that phase, I’ve just got to defend my team, my club. I don’t understand how we can go through this phase, and those events and not conclude it’s a foul.
“The striker, good luck to him; his first look is at the goalkeeper; he has a look and takes a couple of steps back and backs into him, clears a way for his colleague, then has a look at the referee to see if he gets away with it. The ball goes in, none of the Luton players celebrate, nobody.”
JJ Watt, Burnley co-owner, described the decision to allow the goal to stand as “truly disgraceful.”
The former NFL star wrote on X: “I’m new to this ownership thing, so if I get fined by the Premier League, so be it…
“This is as blatant and obvious of a foul as you could have.
“To miss this on the field AND miss this on VAR is truly disgraceful.”
Kompany also pointed to a series of controversial decisions against his side this season.
“For those who were there for Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Forest, how often will it keep happening? A couple of lines in the newspaper and on we go. Consequences? Zero,” he said.
“Maybe we get a bit on one of the specialist things where they explain the referee decision, but we won’t spend too much time on it because we need to talk about Manchester United and Liverpool. And we move on…
“It’s against my nature because I would like to congratulate Luton and tell my players what we must do to improve. I’m shocked.
“I’m disappointed but if you know me tomorrow the only people I will blame is ourselves, what can we do better? But hopefully, it will balance out, and then we’ll get a lot of angry managers from the opposition when it does.”
Rob Edwards (right) saw his side claim a point late on (Martin Rickett/PA)
Luton boss Rob Edwards admitted he would have been disappointed to have been on Burnley’s end of the decision but did his best to argue there had been no foul.
“I’m pleased to get a point,” he said. “In the end, that’s nothing less than we deserve. We were excellent. We dominated large spells of the game. In the first half we dominated and looked a threat. In the second half, we blocked things up a bit more, making it difficult to get behind…
“We showed a lot of control without hurting them but we kept going, the team doesn’t give in and we found a way, whatever way it was.
“It’s difficult. VAR is there to show if a decision is blatantly wrong, and I don’t think it is blatantly wrong. But I can understand their frustration. There is contact there with James Trafford, but if it hadn’t been given, I would have been frustrated because it was minimal.”