Soccer

Wolves boss Nuno launches into scathing attack on ref Mason after Burnley defeat

Nuno Espírito Santo has launched a scathing attack on Lee Mason, telling him he hopes he never referees Wolves again.

Santo claims Mason is not good enough for the Premier League and felt he let Burnley ’s players referee the game.

“The referee does not have the quality for a Premier League game,” said the angry Wolves boss.

“This is a problem we know because we have had Lee Mason before.

“It’s not about a crucial mistake or decision, it’s about how he handles the game.

“The players get nervous, he whistles from the noises from the players. We are talking about the best competition, but he does not have the quality to whistle the game.

“I just don’t want to see him more. I told him I hope he does not whistle a game of ours again.

“He cannot control the players, the players are constantly arguing.”

Yet Mason did not send off Joao Moutinho for a challenge on Josh Brownhill in the dying seconds, which was reviewed by VAR, and Nuno could not blame the official for Wolves’ defeat.

Wolves were disappointing and Burnley strikers Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood bullied them.

Both scored as Barnes ended his 17-game goal drought with his first since November 2019 to lift Burnley out of the bottom three and up to 16th, their highest position this season.

Delighted Burnley boss Sean Dyche said: “It was a tough call to leave out Jay Rodriguez, but I felt it was the right time to bring Barnesy back.

“I’m pleased for him. He’s had a tough time with injuries, but he’s kept working at it.”

Wood went close with a bicycle kick and Barnes was denied by Rui Patricio when Nick Pope put him through with a long clearance.

Barnes headed Burnley in front on 35 minutes with a goal created by Charlie Taylor. Wood picked out Taylor’s overlapping run and the left-back crossed to the back post for Barnes to nod home.

Wolves were below par and Brownhill clipped the bar from a shot in another sign of Burnley’s bigger threat.

The Clarets showed greater desire and their second goal on 51 minutes epitomised this when Ben Mee powered Ashley Westwood’s free-kick across the box for Wood to smash the ball home from close range when it came off Rayan Ait-Nouri.

The game was a goal feast by Burnley’s standards and it was the first time since February that they had scored twice at home.

Yet they had to endure a nervy finale when substitute Josh Benson bundled over Fabio Silva to concede a penalty, which Wolves’ record £36million signing dispatched in the 89th minute for his first senior goal for them.

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