A report will be passed to the Football Association after an incident involving Dwight McNeil and Ezgjan Alioski in Burnley’s 4-0 defeat to Leeds on Saturday.
It came with a little over 20 minutes remaining of the match with Leeds 2-0 to the good, when McNeil appeared to say something in the ear of Alioski after he had gone down under a challenge near the touchline.
The Leeds player then got to his feet and responding by covering his ears and sticking out his tongue as both benches got involved in an argument.
Referee Graham Scott then called over managers Sean Dyche and Marcelo Bielsa, plus captains Ben Mee and Luke Ayling, before play resumed.
“A report has come into the referee and that will be passed on to the FA,” Dyche said in his post-match press conference, but he did not say which player was involved. “One of our players made the report and I was there to be a witness to the report, not the incident. “The report has been made with the referee and that’s where it will stay for now.”
Asked if there was a racial element to the complaint, Dyche declined to comment further and the FA said it would await the report before commenting.
Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa said he had not seen the reaction of his player. “I didn’t see that there was an incident between the two,” he said. “If there was a gesture I didn’t see it. I saw there was a dispute but I didn’t think it was too different to what usually happens within a game.”
Dyche withdrew McNeil moments later as he was replaced by Johann Berg Gudmundsson, though the Burnley manager said the decision was unrelated. “I was going to take Dwight off,” he said. “He’s put in a lot of effort this season and done very well over this season. This was the first time he’s looked a bit jaded. I was nearly going to leave him out before the game, he’s put a big shift in this season.”
Leeds had turned on the style in the second half as they swept to a 4-0 win to strengthen their grip on a top-half place in the Premier League.
After Mateusz Klich gave Marcelo Bielsa’s side the lead on the stroke of half-time, Leeds punished Burnley after the break as Jack Harrison added a second before claiming the two assists when Rodrigo came off the bench to score a brace. It was the sort of stuff which illustrated why Leeds’s return to the top flight this season has been so welcomed, and gave them a four-point cushion over 11th-placed Aston Villa before Dean Smith’s side head to Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Leeds had already passed up golden opportunities for Pascal Struijk and Stuart Dallas before getting their first a minute before the break. Klich strode forward on a counterattack and, when afforded time and space, bent the ball inside the post.
Burnley started the second half brightly, but they were 2-0 down before the hour mark as Harrison got a touch to flick Alioski’s low shot into the net.
Moments before the goal, Patrick Bamford – who had an ill-fated loan spell to Turf Moor in 2016 – was replaced by Rodrigo, and the Spain forward would go close to a hat-trick. James Tarkowski had already made one goal-saving challenge to prevent Luke Ayling’s cross from reaching the 30-year-old in front of goal before he got his first in the 76th minute.
His first touch from Harrison’s pass carried him beyond Tarkowski and Ben Mee before a delightful flick lifted the ball over the advancing Peacock-Farrell. Burnley were still reeling from that when Leeds carved them open again, Phillips’ superb pass finding Harrison who in turn fed Rodrigo, with the forward rounding the goalkeeper before slotting home.
There was one more opportunity for a hat-trick late on but ex-Leeds left-back Taylor, making his 100th Premier League appearance for Burnley, did enough to turn Rodrigo’s shot wide – with VAR checking for use of a hand in the process but deciding there should be no penalty. Burnley had already suffered enough.