Poor game management + the Mike Dean show = top 4 hopes up in smoke.
Raul’s piece of brilliance in the 76th minute deserved to be the match-winner, but Nuno’s decision to replace the Mexican left Wolves short of an outlet up top, which invited Burnley onto us.
The failure to heed the warning of Chris Wood’s missed sitter after Rui’s moment of panic only adds to the frustration, so we only have ourselves to blame for allowing Dean to have his moment on the BBC.
Still, if this was a Europa League fixture, the referee would have blown up for Wood’s high foot and we wouldn’t even be discussing a possible handball by Doc.
Dean was obviously itching to give a penalty and VAR was too obsessed with concentrating on the handball action rather than the quite clear high foot. What does Doc have to do? Make sure he has an imprint of Wood’s size 12 on his face?
I thought Nuno got his tactics spot on prior to hauling Raul off.
The extremely attack-minded starting XI overwhelmed and pinned Burnley in until the first drinks break, as Wolves stretched the pitch and moved the ball between the lines at pace. Vinagre and especially Traore enjoyed bombing on. Like v Everton, the imagination and creativity was back in our play, even if the clear-cut chances were lacking.
As the game drifted and became scrappy like it did at Sheffield United, Nuno acted and pushed Adama, who was no longer needed so deep against a retreating Burnley defence, further forward.
To leave ourselves vulnerable the way we did in stoppage time after doing all the hard work was deflating and entirely avoidable.
For all the talk of winning our last three matches and securing Champions League football, I was always of the mindset of securing sixth and taking it from there. The thought of missing out on the top 6 and European football is an unwelcome dose of reality.