sources that Sadio Mane was sulking yesterday. It was made clear, in his Sky post-match interview, that he had been ill for most of the game which answers many questions about his demeanour.
I hate Burnley – not the Club per say – but the Manager and the way he chooses to play his very own dirty version of cloggers’ football. Given that predilection, what better way than to beat his team in injury-time just as the home fans were scornfully chanting, ‘You’re not singing anymore!’
Given that, it was staggering that the game was completed without a single booking. They say that referees don’t give out cards in the first quarter-hour. The problem is equally true when the game reaches 75 minutes and no card have been shown. It’s as if these officials get brownie-points if they get through a full game without brandishing as much as a single yellow.
Certainly the flying studs challenge by Defour on Can, which led indirectly to the Klavan winner, was appalling yet, astonishingly, didn’t bring as much as an admonishment from Referee Roger East.
Burnley’s route-one game was further exacerbated by the elements being at their worst at a ground, aptly named a moor, which ranks with Stoke as a venue to avoid in the middle of winter.
For that reason alone, this was one of the Reds’ most notable victories in recent years. Certain close-up pictures revealed the force of the torrent. Basically, it was a day when you and I would have postponed going across the road to the shops let alone trying to propel a football with any degree of accuracy.
A final observation about the last minute winner. Most observers reckon it was already Lovren’s goal, but a careful scrutiny suggests possible doubts of that on two counts. Bardsley might just have hooked the ball out if Klavan hadn’t been there, while, perhaps a touch more tenuous, the ball was within Pope’s reach but Klavan’s presence prevented the ‘keeper from being able to dive. If nothing else it’s worth a second look.
Not that it matters. My favourite saying is: We won; they lost!