Burnley won’t get their valuable three points back, but there’s some respite from a 1-0 loss to West Ham over the weekend.
37-year-old defender Michael Duff had his red card rescinded on appeal by the FA after referee Jon Moss sent off the Burnley man in just the 23rd minute, forcing the Clarets to chase the game a man down for over an hour.
Duff was ruled to have brought down Cheikhou Kouyate in the penalty area, and Moss sent him off for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity. Mark Noble slotted home the penalty, and West Ham cruised from there.
With the club now bottom of the league table and seven points back of safety, they mathematically cannot lose from here on out in order to have any shot at staving off relegation. Burnley manager Sean Dyche was furious about the decision after the game, producing a fantastic quote knowing it could be a critical moment in determining whether his team can maintain its Premier League status.
“I’ve got no problem with the fact it’s a penalty. I think there’s a stadium full of people who are very surprised it’s a sending-off,” Dyche said. “I can only imagine their manager was surprised. Their staff were certainly surprised. I think the subs were surprised it was a sending-off. I think the groundsman was surprised it was a sending-off, I think the linesman was surprised it was a sending-off. I think there was a tube station nearby where they were surprised it was a sending-off.”
“When you really need decisions to be right, in my opinion it wasn’t right. It’s a massive moment in a game like this. That changes everything. It’s hard enough to win games at this level 11 v 11.”
As stated, any loss from here on out would doom Burnley to the Championship just a year after they were promoted. They would also be condemned to the drop should they drop any points and Sunderland pick up any points the rest of the way. Even if they win out, one win by Sunderland would confirm relegation for the Clarets.
Thankfully, Burnley will now have Duff available against Hull City, who are also fighting for their Premier League lives. That match was thought a few weeks ago to be a vastly important relegation six-pointer, and while it still is for Hull, to Burnley they’re all of equal importance from here on out.