Burnley boss Sean Dyche was left questioning the referee’s decisions to award the hosts a penalty and send Ben Gibson off after the 3-1 loss at Olympiakos on Thursday.
Dyche claimed “all and sundry” from Olympiakos had spoken to referee Slavko Vincic in the tunnel at half-time of the Europa League qualifying play-off first leg, “making it clear they weren’t happy” with his performance.
After the hosts went 2-1 up four minutes into the second half through Andreas Bouchalakis’ header, they extended their advantage on the hour when Vincic judged Gibson to have been guilty of a handball in the box and showed the defender a second yellow card, with Kostas Fortounis converting the resulting spot-kick.
The first half had seen Chris Wood’s penalty cancel out Fortounis’ opener, and Vincic wave away some enthusiastic Olympiakos spot-kick appeals.
On a difficult night for the Clarets, the club also announced that five of their fans who were in Greece for the match had suffered injuries, including one who had received a stab wound to the leg.
That person had received medical attention at the stadium, Burnley said in a statement.
Regarding on-field matters, Dyche said: “We responded to a goal with a definite penalty.
“Then I think, after the incident where they tried for a penalty, which wasn’t a penalty… I don’t know how many people ran on the pitch from their side of things, and around the referee and the linesman and the fourth official.
“And then the scenes I saw at half-time (in the tunnel) around the referee were interesting from all and sundry on their side.
“And then things change in the second half and you are left scratching your head.”
Dyche said of the incident where Gibson was sent off: “I’ve seen it – it’s his hip first when he gets a block, and then it’s his hand second, and that is deemed a professional handball if you like and then a second yellow, and he is sent off, and I think we are all left scratching our heads at that moment.”
He added: “I think you all saw the feel of the game was different in the second half. There’s no accusations, only the facts of what I saw.
“I’m just giving the facts as I saw them. The varying moments in the game, the varying incidents, what I saw in the tunnel – they are facts, it’s not an opinion.
“There were plenty of people involved in the tunnel, waiting for the referee to come in, and certainly let him know what they thought in no uncertain terms.
“We are given very strict guidelines from UEFA about respect in the tournament, respecting the referees, and we walked straight down the tunnel and into our dressing room – and at the end.
“I think it was interesting just because there were that many people involved. It wasn’t just people who were on the bench, there were all sorts of people.
“There was lots of people certainly making it clear they weren’t happy with the referee’s performance I would say. But for me the bigger thing for me was out on the pitch, because we’re told not to do that.”
Olympiakos boss Pedro Martins said his side should have been awarded a penalty before Wood’s, and added: “I don’t know what the Burnley coach is referring to.
“What happened at half-time happened with dignity.
“On the field we saw two completely different teams.
“We should have had the most complaints for the referee. Of course, mistakes are in the game.
“In the second half we showed superiority, we imposed our rhythm, we were strong.”
The second leg at Turf Moor is next Thursday. Before that, Burnley face Fulham at Craven Cottage in the Premier League on Sunday.