BURNLEY, England (AP) — Wolverhampton manager Nuno Espirito Santo could face punishment for being heavily critical of referee Lee Mason after a 2-1 loss to Burnley in the English Premier League on Monday.
Nuno said Mason “does not have the quality to whistle a game in the Premier League” after seeing his team sunk by close-range goals by Burnley strikers Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood. Fabio Silva replied for Wolves with an 89th-minute penalty.
“I just don’t want to see him more — that’s what I told him,” Nuno said. “I hope he doesn’t whistle a game of ours again because all the games we have with Lee Mason are always the same.
“He cannot control the players, the players are constantly arguing — both teams. With all the other referees, the game flows. There’s dialogue. He’s just not ready to do it.”
Nuno didn’t make reference to a specific incident in the game at Turf Moor.
“It is not about the crucial mistakes or decisions, it is about the way he handles the game,” he said. “The players get nervous, too much voices, he whistles by the voices when some players are shouting.
“We are talking about the best competition and clearly he doesn’t have the quality to whistle the game. I’m very disappointed to say this but I would not feel right if I didn’t say it.”
The win extended Burnley’s unbeaten run to four games and saw the team climb out of the relegation zone above Fulham, which drops into the bottom three, and Brighton into 16th place in the 20-team league.
Barnes leapt high to plant a far-post header through Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio’s legs from close range in the 35th minute to give Burnley the lead in rainy conditions.
Wood also scored from a couple of yards (meters) out, smashing a loose ball into the roof of the net after Ben Mee’s looping header at a free kick struck Wolves defender Rayan Ait Nouri and dropped into the path of the New Zealand striker.
Silva, an 18-year-old striker, converted an 89th-minute penalty for his first goal in English soccer since his move from Porto to give Wolves hope but Burnley held out for a third win.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports