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Pope the penalty hero as Burnley beat Blades

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Nick Pope was the shoot-out hero as Burnley progressed into the Carabao Cup third round – although a 5-4 victory over Sheffield United on penalties following a 1-1 draw was soured by an injury to Johann Berg Gudmundsson.

After David McGoldrick’s early strike was cancelled out by Matej Vydra midway through the second half, Pope got down low to save Oli McBurnie’s spot-kick and Burnley were clinical in netting all five of their efforts.

While they booked a third-round date against Millwall, a Burnley side already low on numbers had a setback as Gudmundsson was stretchered off the field following a nasty first-half challenge from Jack Robinson.

Sean Dyche believes the defender should have been red carded for his challenge and while he accepted it may have been permissible in years gone by, he insisted that is no longer the case by modern standards as he criticised the officials for not reprimanding Robinson.

The Burnley manager said: “In my day that was standard and every week, but nowadays it’s unacceptable. The linesman is four or five yards from it and gives nothing, the ref gives nothing and we haven’t got VAR. If you look at it back, it would be a card in anyone’s book.

Nick Pope's save in the penalty shoot-out helped see Burnley through in the Carabao Cup
Image: Burnley were 5-4 winners in a penalty shoot-out

“I thought it was a bizarre game from the officials, one minute they’re giving (a free-kick) for a tiny touch in the back and then that challenge, it was almost nothing. A foul and that was it.

“You’re scratching your head when you see it back. Having seen it back, it’s a really bad challenge, he should have been red carded.”

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Dyche admitted he would be surprised if it were only a minor setback for Gudmundsson, who made only 13 appearances in all competitions last season due to hamstring and calf injuries.

Burnley are already low on numbers, with goalkeeper Joe Hart and midfielders Jeff Hendrick and Aaron Lennon leaving on free transfers over the summer, while centre-half Ben Gibson has been allowed to join Norwich on loan.

Johan Berg Gudmundsson was stretchered off during the Carabao Cup clash
Image: Johan Berg Gudmundsson was stretchered off during the Carabao Cup clash

Dyche said: “We’re trying to protect people here because the Premier League is the be-all and end-all at the moment, not because we don’t want a cup run. We respect all the competitions but it’s just a logical fact.

“It’s very difficult at the minute, we haven’t got enough players, we’ve lost another one. (Johann) has twisted his knee, at this stage it’s unlikely it’s going to be a matter of days, I’d be very, very surprised.

“Unfortunately there’s not a lot in the pipeline, I don’t know anything that is, so it’s going to be tough.”

Sheffield United made 10 changes to the side that lost to Wolves in their Premier League opener on Monday and Chris Wilder was encouraged by the performances of those who played.

David McGoldrick celebrates his goal for Sheffield United
Image: David McGoldrick celebrates his goal for Sheffield United

He said: “I don’t want this to be an easy season for me as a manager in terms of picking that side. Everybody had that opportunity to impress and they’ve certainly done that.

“We’re disappointed that we’ve not gone through, it’s fine margins and we go again. We’re in good spirits, there’s not a lot wrong with us.”

As for Robinson’s challenge on Gudmundsson, Wilder added: “It’s unfortunate. I’ve not seen it back. I’ve been told that it may have been a little bit near the mark, it’s just trying to get that balance right.”

What’s next?

Burnley will visit Leicester in the Premier League on Sunday (kick-off 7pm) before facing Millwall in the Carabao Cup next week. Sheffield United travel to Aston Villa on Monday Night Football (kick-off 6pm)

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