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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 April 2019

Neil Warnock 'lost for words' after referee awards and then overturns Cardiff penalty

Controversy at Turf Moor as Burnley ran out 2-0 winners while Brighton suffer heavy loss at home to Brighton

Cardiff City's Aron Gunnarsson remonstrates with referee Mike Dean after the match official overruled an earlier penalty decision against Burnley at Turf Moor. Reuters
Cardiff City's Aron Gunnarsson remonstrates with referee Mike Dean after the match official overruled an earlier penalty decision against Burnley at Turf Moor. Reuters

Referee Mike Dean controversially reversed his decision to award Cardiff City a penalty as the Bluebirds' troubles deepened with a 2-0 loss against Burnley at Turf Moor.

Chris Wood deservedly gave the hosts a 31st-minute lead but Cardiff looked to have been presented with a great chance to equalise moments after the restart when Ben Mee was penalised for handball.

It was assistant Darren Cann who raised his flag but, after a discussion with Dean, the referee changed his mind, leaving Cardiff's players and manager Neil Warnock furious.

Cardiff had two more strong penalty appeals turned down late in the second half and Wood made sure of the points with his 13th goal of the season in injury time.

"There were two handballs, really; you only have to look at the players reaction, he looked so guilty and the second one we felt there was a movement of the hand towards the ball," Warnock said in reference to Burnley defender Mee.

"Mike [Dean] must have seen something to go over and we're gutted really. I think Darren made the right decision and Mike has talked him out of it.

"My lads should surround the referee, really. They had three lads in his ear straight away. I'm looking forward to hearing what they [referee and assistants] say. I'm sure when I get in there they'll all be singing from the same hymn sheet. Can I say I'm lost for words?"

Warnock is already facing a Football Association charge for three breaches of the rules after criticising the officials for failing to disallow a Chelsea goal for offside last month and perhaps wisely he chose not to confront Dean on the pitch at the end of the game.

The result leaves Burnley 11 points above their opponents and surely guaranteed another season of Premier League football, while Cardiff are five points behind Brighton & Hove Albion, who they play on Tuesday.

Brighton remain catchable for Cardiff as they succumbed to a humiliating 5-0 home defeat to Bournemouth.

Eddie Howe's side had lost 11 of their last 12 games on the road, but moved up to 12th thanks to goals from Dan Gosling, Ryan Fraser, David Brooks, Callum Wilson and Junior Stanislas.

A dreadful day for the Seagulls was rounded off by a red card for Anthony Knockaert.

"We came up against a very dynamic Bournemouth side and couldn't handle them," said Brighton manager Chris Hughton, whose side are five points above relegation with a game in hand.

"We started OK but didn't create much and then from our possession they scored four goals on the counter.

"We changed the shape but then went down to 10 men which makes it even harder. We found it very difficult to cope with them today."

Southampton further eased their relegation fears with a 3-1 win over Wolves to move eight points clear of the drop zone.

Nathan Redmond scored twice either side of Willy Boly's equaliser in the first half before Shane Long sealed a vital three points with 19 minutes left.

Fulham's relegation to the Championship is already assured, but they secured just a fifth win of the season by beating Everton 2-0 thanks to second-half goals from Tom Cairney and Ryan Babel.

Updated: April 13, 2019 09:00 PM

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