Sean Dyche Dismisses David Luiz's 'Anti-Football' Criticism After Chelsea Draw

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistApril 23, 2019

Burnley's English manager Sean Dyche gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Burnley at Stamford Bridge in London on April 22, 2019. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /         (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)
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Burnley manager Sean Dyche has defended Burnley's style of play after Chelsea defender David Luiz accused the Lancashire outfit of "anti-football" in Monday's 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge. 

Luiz criticised Burnley's defensive methods in a post-match interview with Sky Sports, but Dyche supported his side after a share of the spoils saw them reach 40 points and told reporters:

"Well, for a £58 million wage bill, making the most of the players to find a way to get 40 points in the Premier League, I'm pretty pleased to be fair.

"Twenty-eight points from 16 games: you can't do that with anti-football. You have to play some football to get that many points. We're in a super strong position, but you work on facts. We know it's a big marker, 40 points, but we have to see it through."

Jeff Hendrick's surprise opener put Chelsea on the back foot until two goals in three minutes from N'Golo Kante and Gonzalo Higuain saw the hosts lead. Ashley Barnes' 24th-minute volley levelled the score again, and the Clarets managed to hold out in west London for the point.

Blues manager Maurizio Sarri was sent to the stands late on, but Dyche reacted to the result on Sky Sports and played down the scuffle at the end of the game:

Luiz said Chelsea "tried everything to win the game" but couldn't overcome Burnley, highlighting the visitors wasted time by going to ground with injuries and supposed cramp, via Optus Sport (Australia only):

Burnley are up to 15th in the Premier League and nine points clear of the relegation zone with three matches left. They'll host Manchester City and Arsenal, with an away fixture against Everton in between.

Dyche excused the frequent cramping and reasoned his side can't afford to play the expansive football Luiz would presumably rather face in these fixtures:

"It was our 48th game of the season, players going down with cramp. I don't know how you could question that. We can't afford the technical prowess of these teams. You have to find a way to be successful in the Premier League.

"This was the final way to get a point. There are nights like tonight when you have to give every inch. Fans used to love seeing their teams do that. Maybe it's still got a place. We had to fight, do what we can, to get our point."

ESPN FC's Liam Twomey provided further comment from the Burnley boss:

Chelsea spent a little more than £120 million on Jorginho and Kepa Arrizabalaga after Sarri arrived at Stamford Bridge last year. They've also agreed a deal to sign Borussia Dortmund winger Christian Pulisic  for £58 million in the summer.

In contrast, Burnley's three biggest signings of 2018—defender Ben Gibson, goalkeeper Joe Hart and forward Matej Vydra—cost a little less than £30 million combined.

The Clarets have lost only four times in their last 16 league games, and their 2019 form thus far has them in elite company, per Squawka:

Burnley are effectively guaranteed to be playing in the Premier League next season, and a point at Chelsea is likely to only cement Dyche's faith in his system.

Chelsea are fourth but look vulnerable ahead of Sunday's visit to face sixth-place Manchester United at Old Trafford, with the Red Devils three points behind holding one game in hand.

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