Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will anxiously await an update on the fitness of Trent Alexander-Arnold after the defender injured the same knee which sidelined him for three weeks in January.

The 25-year-old, who set a new Premier League record of 58 assists by a defender with his corner for Diogo Jota’s opener in the 3-1 victory over Burnley at Anfield, was taken off at half-time.

“His knee again? Yes, it felt like that. He got it stuck in the grass and we will see. We have (to send for) assessment,” said Klopp.

“Same area in the knee. Nothing really bad, but he felt it again and we have to see, we have to assess it.

“Trent said ‘it’s fine’ but it’s not fine (because) he feels it so we had to be careful and took him off and that’s a double problem if you want: Trent is off and the other is we had no other right-backs available.

“So we told Curtis (Jones) what he had to do and we changed formation slightly and tried to make it as simple as possible for him, because it was first time in the life he has played the position (in the Premier League) and we didn’t want him to be the inverted right-back and have to think about these things as well.”

It may not be seen as such in the medium term but Alexander-Arnold’s departure proved beneficial as his replacement Harvey Elliott provided the assists for Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez after Dara O’Shea’s headed equaliser on the stroke of half-time.

“Harvey came on and did really well. All the other boys did well, scored 2-1 at the right moment to give the game the right direction,” added Klopp, whose side regained their two-point advantage at the top after Manchester City’s lunchtime win over Everton had briefly taken them to the summit for the first time since November.

“We scored the third and could have had more, it’s all good. Besides the Trent situation it is perfect.”

The match proved a test of both Liverpool’s mental and physical capabilities after defeat to Arsenal last week as illness affecting Alisson Becker and Joe Gomez added them to an absentee list which already includes Mohamed Salah and Dominik Szoboszlai, while substitute Ryan Gravenberch was injured in the warm-up.

“Ryan, before the game, felt something. They told me he is fine but you cannot bring a player in who felt something when warming up so we had to act quickly and hopefully,” added Klopp, who said the game would have been like the “wild west” with just seven players on the field had the proposed blue card and sin bin been in use.

“A lot of the boys will be back before the next game because we need them obviously.”

While it was comfortable for Liverpool in the end it could have been different had David Fofana taken either or both of his one-on-one chances with Caoimhin Kelleher in the space of four second-half minutes with the score at 2-1.

“I’ve been to this place as a player quite a few times and we didn’t have as many chances as we did today,” said Burnley boss Vincent Kompany.

“You need to put away your chances and we didn’t do that.”

Burnley boss Vincent Kompany has told his players the latest VAR controversy to hurt their survival chances shows they must rely on themselves as they cannot expect favours from anyone else.

Kompany was fuming after Carlton Morris’s controversial stoppage-time equaliser cost them victory in Friday’s 1-1 draw with relegation rivals Luton.

Morris headed into an empty net in the second minute of time added on but only after Elijah Adebayo had blocked off Burnley goalkeeper James Trafford as he looked to gather Alfie Doughty’s cross.

Burnley had led since Zeki Amdouni’s 36th-minute strike and appeared on course for only their second home win of the season, one that would put them one point behind the Hatters and two behind 17th-placed Everton, who host Aston Villa on Sunday, but instead the result left them four points adrift of safety.

Kompany’s frustration was obvious in a post-match press conference as he described the situation as a “joke” and pointed to previous incidents at Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth where refereeing decisions have cost the Clarets.

But while Burnley will make their feelings known on the issue, Kompany said he and his players must focus on themselves.

“We’ll keep focusing on our performance and to do what we have to do to give ourselves a chance to stay up,” he said when asked if such decisions were going to cost Burnley come the end of the campaign.

“At this moment in time, I don’t want to draw these types of conclusions because it’s admitting defeat and I won’t do it. But it has to rally us if anything, rally us to be more united, more together and more willing to go the extra yard and not expect any favours from anyone.”

VAR controversies have come to the fore this season, and Kompany said there needed to be “better mechanisms” in place to deal with to the system.

“I love this sport and I want to fight for it,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to be in the referee’s shoes nowadays, I have sympathy for them. I think there’s a lot of new elements now and scrutiny and it’s difficult for them to even come to a logical decision.

“Them missing something that everyone sees like this is probably the result of the general confusion around a lot of decisions. I have sympathy but I have also a lot of frustration right now.”

Luton boss Rob Edwards admitted he would have been upset to have been on the wrong end of the decision but he and his players could celebrate a point that was their seventh from the last four league games and which moved them level with Everton.

Although Burnley had the better chances in the game, it was Luton who had more of the ball and Edwards said it showed the progression they have made.

“What pleased me most was the performance,” he said. “We’d never have been able to come here and dominate a game like that. We were really good with the ball and I loved a lot of that…

“We have got a fighting chance, it’s a fact. We’re performing really well, we’re in good form. I don’t think anyone can deny that and we are getting points. In the last four games we’ve got points from three of them and we’ve performed well so of course we’ve got a fighting chance.”

Vincent Kompany fumed over the decision to allow Luton’s controversial stoppage-time equaliser as Burnley were denied a crucial three points in a 1-1 draw against their relegation rivals at Turf Moor.

Carlton Morris headed into an empty net after Burnley goalkeeper James Trafford was blocked by Elijah Adebayo as he tried to claim Alfie Doughty’s cross, but referee Tony Harrington was unmoved and VAR Peter Bankes upheld the goal following a lengthy check.

After Zeki Amdouni’s 36th-minute goal, Burnley had been moments away from celebrating a win that would have put them a point behind Luton and within touching distance of safety, but instead it was the Hatters who moved level on points with 17th-placed Everton.

“It’s a joke, a joke,” the Burnley boss said. “I will start by saying 100 per cent respect and credit to Luton, they’re a terrific outfit, what they do as a club, the players, managers, they deserve whatever is coming to them, a really good club.

“In that phase I’ve just got to defend my team, my club. I don’t understand how we can go through this phase and those events and not come to the conclusion it’s a foul.

“The striker, good luck to him, his first look is at the goalkeeper, he has a look and takes a couple of steps back and backs into him, clears a way for his colleague, then has a look at the referee to see if he gets away with it. The ball goes in, none of the Luton players celebrate, nobody.”

Kompany pointed to a series of controversial decisions that have gone against his side this season.

“For those that where there for Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Forest, how many times is it going to keep happening? A couple of lines in the newspaper and on we go. Consequences? Zero,” he said.

“Maybe we get a bit on one of the specialist things where they explain the referee decision but we won’t spend too much time on it because we need to talk about Manchester United and Liverpool. And we move on…

“It’s against my nature because I would like to congratulate Luton and tell my players what we have to do to improve. I’m shocked.

“I’m disappointed but if you know me tomorrow the only people I will blame is ourselves, what can we do better? But hopefully it will balance out and then we’ll get a lot of angry managers from the opposition when it does.”

Luton boss Rob Edwards admitted he would have been disappointed to have been on Burnley’s end of the decision, but did his best to argue there had been no foul.

“Obviously I’m really pleased to get a point,” he said. “In the end that’s nothing less than we deserved. We were excellent. We dominated large spells of the game. In the first half we dominated and looked a threat. In the second half we blocked things up a bit more made it difficult to get behind…

“We showed a lot of control without hurting them but we kept going, the team doesn’t give in and we found a way, whatever way it was.

“It’s difficult. VAR is there to show if a decision is blatantly wrong and I don’t think it is blatantly wrong. But I can understand their frustration. There is contact there with James Trafford but if it hadn’t have been given I would have been frustrated because it was pretty minimal.”

Burnley boss Vincent Kompany expressed his frustration after his side were held 1-1 at home by a controversial late goal from Carlton Morris.

Morris headed into the net in stoppage time following a collision between his fellow Hatters forward Elijah Adebayo and Clarets goalkeeper James Trafford, with referee Tony Harrington unmoved and the effort standing after a lengthy check from VAR.

Kompany told TNT Sports: “I don’t get it anymore. If we get a foul against us that is given as a penalty that is as soft as it is against Aston Villa (the 3-2 loss on December 30), then what is this here?

“There’s a clear attempt to stop the goalkeeper getting up. It doesn’t take anything away from the performance by Luton, I thought they were incredible today. But it’s just a moment there where the referee has to get it right.

“I think any ex-pro will say they understand what the striker has been doing in this case, clearing the room for the other striker.”

Kompany, whose men had led against their relegation rivals through Zeki Amdouni’s 36th-minute strike, added: “First I expect the referee to see it, it was that obvious.

“None of the Luton players have celebrated. The striker (looks) to the referee, to see if he got away with it.

“Luckily we have VAR, we think that is going to sort it out, and then it rolls, it rolls, lack of decision and that’s it, 1-1.

“I’m absolutely fine if we concede this goal and it’s consistent and this is allowed – if everyone can do it, I’ll tell my players to do it.

“But we dropped points at Villa after the softest red card and softest penalty against us, and it just keeps happening.

“Here I’m like ‘what do I go and tell (my players)?’. I don’t understand what’s happened to them a couple of weeks ago, what’s happened to them now. The frustration at this moment is very difficult to hide, it’s very difficult to digest it.”

Aston Villa moved level on points with Premier League leaders Liverpool as Douglas Luiz’s late penalty secured a 3-2 home win over 10-man Burnley.

Villa led at the break thanks to a Moussa Diaby finish after Leon Bailey’s 28th-minute opener for the hosts had been cancelled out three minutes later by Zeki Amdouni.

Burnley suffered a further setback with Sander Berge sent off early in the second half, but it looked as if it could prove a frustrating afternoon for Villa after Lyle Foster drew things level again in the 71st minute.

Luiz then had the final say, converting from the spot with a minute of normal time remaining, as Unai Emery’s side moved up a place to second in the table, joining Liverpool on 42 points ahead of the Reds hosting Newcastle on New Year’s Day.

The 26th league win of their superb 2023 under Emery saw the midlands outfit bounce back from the 3-2 Boxing Day loss at Manchester United, with normal service resumed at Villa Park after the 1-1 draw with Sheffield United on December 22 had ended a club-record run of 15 consecutive home league wins.

Vincent Kompany’s Burnley, meanwhile, remain second-bottom, five points adrift of safety.

Villa had a couple of opportunities in the opening quarter-hour, with Diaby sending a volley wide and another from Ollie Watkins saved by James Trafford.

Burnley were then forced into an early change as Jordan Beyer was replaced by Hannes Delcroix, before starting to show some threat as Josh Brownhill struck wide and quickly brought a save out of Emiliano Martinez.

Within moments Villa were ahead, Watkins cutting into the box from the left and laying the ball to Bailey who took a touch and fired past Trafford via a deflection.

The lead proved short-lived, with Burnley hitting back almost immediately through Amdouni’s hooked effort after Dara O’Shea had headed a free-kick across goal.

The visitors then had the ball in the net again in the 37th minute, but Foster’s finish was ruled out for offside.

Villa regained the advantage five minutes later with Watkins again the creator, the England striker fashioning the cut-back from which Diaby turned the ball home.

Following Foster and Amdouni efforts saved by Martinez either side of the interval, Burnley were reduced to 10 men in the 56th minute when Berge collected a second yellow card having tugged at the shirt of Luiz.

Diaby curled over soon after before Foster prodded wide following a possible handball by Diego Carlos just outside the box that brought no action from referee Stuart Attwell.

Villa cranked up the pressure as Trafford denied John McGinn and Diaby before Luiz, Jacob Ramsey and Diaby, twice, shot off target.

The hosts were then left ruing that as Foster held off Alex Moreno and fired in for his first goal since returning to action after an eight-match absence in which he had been receiving care for his mental health.

It appeared as if Villa’s wastefulness might cost them, but as stoppage time drew near a challenge by former Villa man Aaron Ramsey on fellow substitute Jhon Duran prompted Attwell to point to the spot and Luiz converted the penalty with a shot that bounced down off the bar to ensure a fine calendar year ended on a high for Emery’s team.

Vincent Kompany said Burnley will need more outstanding individual performances in order to survive in the Premier League after goalkeeper James Trafford put in a superb display in his team’s 1-1 draw against Brighton at the Amex Stadium.

The visitors took the lead against the run of play courtesy of a brilliant strike from Wilson Odobert, taking advantage as three Brighton players stood off him and unleashing a wicked drive that nicked off James Milner and flew over goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen into the top corner.

At that stage, Trafford had already saved well from Milner and Pascal Gross, and he continued to repel the home side’s attempts to claw the game back, racing from his goal to keep out Simon Adingra with a sprawling block in the second half.

Burnley were finally breached when Adingra nodded in a cross from the excellent Gross minutes later, but Trafford would save his best until last, first showing outstanding reflexes to beat away a header from substitute Jack Hinshelwood in stoppage time before flinging himself towards the top corner to somehow fingertip Karou Mitoma’s volley over the bar.

“The game demanded it at the end,” said Kompany. “You don’t come to these places and get a result without moments like this.

“It’s in the bank for him (Trafford), in terms of having come through this. He needs to keep working on becoming the best he can be. We’re very fortunate to have two very good goalkeepers.

“His season has been no different to everyone else in the team. He’s improved throughout the season, shown good signs. He’s been more and more consistent and ultimately at this level consistency is the key word.

“We have more and more players who perform at a consistent level. In games like today, without someone having an outstanding performance, you never get results.”

Burnley were seeking just their second away win of the season but despite defending bravely after taking the lead they were left to rue more dropped points on the road, though the gap to Everton in 17th place has been cut to two points.

“We’re not at a level yet where we can compete every week with teams like Brighton on an equal level,” said Kompany.

“There’s a tremendous belief in me that the club is going in the right direction.

“Our biggest, unique strength is it’s an elite club in terms of the attitude, the standard and the habits. I would put us against anybody. The amount of belief and resilience we’ve got. It’s a special club that really lives.

“It’s not for no reason that after such a tough start, you still see progression, you still see people getting better. That won’t stop.”

Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi reflected that there is still a way to go before his side can consider themselves amongst the league’s top bracket.

“I consider my team a very good team, I have big, big confidence,” he said.

“There isn’t anyone more than me who believes in my players. But we are not a top team yet, because a top team wins today, against Sheffield (United) and against Fulham (both games finished 1-1 at the Amex).

“Winning these three games, we would be third in the table. These three games, we played very well, and we deserved to win.

“Why didn’t we win these three games? Maybe because we are not a top team yet. Maybe the coach of Brighton is not a top, top coach yet.”

Burnley boss Vincent Kompany is not surprised by James Milner’s longevity and said his old team-mate is perhaps the hardest-working player he has ever known.

Kompany will come up against Milner on Saturday when the Clarets head south to take on Brighton, the club Milner joined in the summer after eight years at Liverpool.

The 37-year-old has made 13 appearances for the Seagulls despite some injury niggles, lending his wealth of experience as Roberto De Zerbi’s squad balances the demands of European football with their domestic duties for the first time.

“He’s older than me!” joked Kompany, who is three months Milner’s junior. “I’m not surprised and if there’s one guy that was going to do that it was going to be Milly. His longevity – it’s because he’s probably the hardest working player I’ve ever played with.

“I’ve seen his journey from being this winger, attacking midfielder, central midfielder, full-back. And every single time people would have bet against him. But if you know him and his personality, you would never bet a penny against him…

“There might have been loads of players who are better than James, but how many have had his career? Very, very few.”

Milner’s medal collection includes a Champions League crown with Liverpool and three Premier League titles. He won two of those alongside Kompany at City before joining Liverpool on a free transfer in 2015.

That exit left a sour taste among many in the blue half of Manchester, but not Kompany.

“You always want your best players to stay but for his career it was a great move,” he said. “I’ve always wanted him to do well.”

Saturday’s trip to the Amex Stadium will bring back happy memories for Kompany, who lifted the Premier League trophy there in 2019 in his final game in English football.

“It feels like a lifetime ago, the job I’m in consumes you that much,” he said. “But, yeah, it was four-and-a-half years ago – it feels like it was 20 years ago.

“I’d be rubbish if I was in that profession now. But they are good memories and maybe in the future – maybe one Christmas – those moments can be replayed with the kids.”

City won 4-1 that day to pip Liverpool – and Milner – to the title by one point with a run of 14 straight victories, perhaps fortunate to come across a Brighton side who had only ensured their own top-flight survival the weekend before when Cardiff lost to Crystal Palace.

But the club Burnley will face on Saturday have come a long, long way since then, and are seen by many as the model club for anyone wanting to challenge the Premier League’s top sides.

Kompany pointed out Burnley were a model themselves for a long time, having held their own in the top flight for seven years despite limited resources, and said it was not as simple as trying to copy what someone has done.

“If this is a path, then I don’t think we should compare ourselves to them, absolutely not,” he said.

“We’re at a completely different stage, but there is a template that’s taken time for them to develop and that’s obviously allowing them to compete above their means.

“That should be a goal for any team in this league.”

Burnley’s survival hopes have suffered a significant blow with winger Luca Koleosho facing several months out with a knee injury.

The 19-year-old summer signing from Espanyol has been one of Burnley’s brightest lights so far this term and scored his first goal for the club in Saturday’s 5-0 win over Sheffield United.

But the Italy under-21 international was hurt in the first half of Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat at Wolves and, after initially trying to carry on, was forced off with 36 minutes gone.

“It’s bad news for us,” manager Vincent Kompany said. “He’s going to be out for a while apparently…I’d like to think he’ll still play this season but it might be towards the end of the season.”

Kompany would not disclose the precise nature of Koleosho’s injury but the loss of the pacy and incisive young forward is a major setback for a team who, Saturday’s big win aside, have struggled to score goals all season.

“We’ll do everything we can to make sure that he’ll get back healthy and ready to go again,” Kompany added. “I think now the key concern for us is to make sure he doesn’t sustain any long-term damage because he’s still young, we’ll do everything right by him…

“Past the fact that it’s a blow for a young player, I still think it’s for someone else now to step up and wear the shirt in a way that Luca has done.

“In these moments if you keep your head calm you can really get better, get stronger from these moments. I’ve no doubt he’ll come back stronger but for us short-term wise it’s an undeniable blow.”

But when asked if Koleosho’s injury could force Burnley into the January transfer market, Kompany said it was unlikely a club that signed 15 players in the summer would be busy next month.

“The squad is still fairly large and we don’t have unlimited resources,” Kompany said. “If we can find a way to improve the squad drastically we’ll do that but if it’s just to add numbers that’s not what we’re out for…

“I don’t see how we could drastically go out there and drastically spend our way into staying in this division. It would have to be one or two really smart deals if we can find them.

“You’re not necessarily in the strongest position when you’re at the bottom of the league to make a case to a player to commit his future to you, but there might be an opportunity.

“The key thing for us is also making sure the players we have now and the clear improvements you see, that they keep that progress level up.

“The likes of Zeki (Amdouni) or Sander Berge, these guys, their performance has improved that much from two months ago and they’ve got that much left to go, that could be the key factor for us in turning performances into results.”

Burnley ended their wait for a Premier League home win in style with a 5-0 rout of fellow strugglers Sheffield United, climbing off the foot of the table and piling pressure on Blades boss Paul Heckingbottom.

Jay Rodriguez needed just 15 seconds to head Vincent Kompany’s side in front and Jacob Bruun Larsen doubled the lead in the 28th minute, with United ending the first half a man down after Oli McBurnie collected two petulant yellow cards in quick succession.

More pain followed for United in the second half as Zeki Amdouni and Luca Koleosho scored two in the space of three minutes before Josh Brownhill added a fifth, giving Burnley their biggest ever Premier League win.

No English league club had ever opened a season with eight home defeats and Burnley could not afford to set that record against a United side who began the day one point better off, with these two starting the day first and second in terms of the worst starts to a Premier League season by promoted sides.

Both Burnley’s wins to date have come against teams promoted alongside them in the summer, but after encouraging displays against Crystal Palace and West Ham, three points offer tangible reward for improving performances.

For United it was another chastening day, the pain of defeat increased by the loss of McBurnie to a needless suspension. There was no sign of the sort of quality that will be needed to get them out of trouble.

Burnley scored the opener with a move straight from kick-off. James Trafford punted the ball forward, Amdouni shifted it to the left and Charlie Taylor whipped in a first-time cross for Rodriguez to head home.

It was the quickest Premier League goal of the season, and made Rodriguez the first player in the league’s history to score in the opening 15 seconds of two separate games, 10 years and one day after he pounced for Southampton against Chelsea.

Burnley doubled their lead when Bruun Larsen got in front of Luke Thomas to reach Dara O’Shea’s long ball, cutting in off the right before passing the ball under the despairing dive of Wes Foderingham.

United’s frustrations soon surfaced. McBurnie, back in the starting 11 after scoring the late consolation in last week’s home defeat to Bournemouth, was lucky to only see yellow for catching O’Shea with an elbow in the 36th minute, leaving Kompany livid on the sideline.

Moments later O’Shea caught McBurnie, who delivered enough theatrics to ensure his counterpart also saw yellow, and Kompany joined both players in the book for his remonstrations.

More was to follow and when McBurnie caught O’Shea with an arm once again in first-half stoppage time, he earned a second yellow card and a head start on the trudge to the dressing room.

Heckingbottom, already forced into one substitution due to an injury for George Baldock, made a triple change at the break as Benie Traore, James McAtee and William Osula came on for Thomas, John Fleck and Cameron Archer.

It meant only half United’s outfield players that started the match were still on for the start of the second half. But it did little to change United’s fortunes and the floodgates opened after the 73rd minute.

Burnley’s third came when United failed to clear a corner and Jordan Beyer headed the ball down for Amdouni to spring between Jack Robinson and Anel Ahmedhodzic before playing the ball beyond Foderingham.

Moments later Koleosho cracked a shot off the crossbar when Foderingham could only parry Amdouni’s shot, but the teenager was soon celebrating his first Premier League goal as he shrugged off a challenge and beat the goalkeeper at his near post.

Brownhill rifled in the fifth from the edge of the box with 10 minutes to go.

Burnley manager Vincent Kompany believes increasing diversity at boardroom level is the key to unlocking change at every other level of football.

Last week the Football Association released figures showing the football clubs who had voluntarily pledged to improve their ethnic and gender diversity through the Football Leadership Diversity Code had collectively failed to hit any of their annual targets.

Fifty-three clubs have signed up to the FLDC, which is in its third year and which sets voluntary targets in four areas of recruitment – senior leadership roles, team operations, coaching in the men’s game and coaching in the women’s game.

But figures for the last 12 months show clubs failing to achieve success in any category.

Senior leadership hiring of black, Asian and mixed heritage candidates is set at 15 per cent, but clubs only achieved 9.1 per cent. In men’s clubs, the target for new coaching hires from a black, Asian or mixed heritage background was 25 per cent but clubs only managed 16 per cent.

Asked what he thought could be done to improve those figures, Kompany said change must come from the top.

“You’d like to think over time this is going to evolve,” the 37-year-old said. “I’ve always made the point clearly and I think in this day and age it’s even more important – what is the diversity in a boardroom, the levers of power?

“The coaching, you give the job to the best people but I think the diversity, where it’s really needed is where the power is, that’s what affects everything we’re doing.

“If you have a boardroom that’s diverse, you can’t brush things under the carpet. These things will get solved.”

The latest figures show that within the 53 club signatories, 21 per cent of senior leaders and 29 per cent of team operations are female and seven per cent of senior leaders and nine per cent of team operations are black, Asian or mixed heritage.

Across the coaching workforce, 13 per cent of coaches and 11 per cent of senior coaches are black, Asian or mixed heritage.

“If you have 15 (job) applications and management and the board have got opinions from different walks of life, you can’t just brush it under the carpet, it goes through everything…” Kompany added.

“Today you have to choose between black and white, pro this or against this, but I think once you have a little bit of diversity you get much closer to the truth. The reality is, yes there isn’t enough but the truth is that’s only what we see. What’s behind it is more important to bring balance.

“When it’s balanced it’s going to be more fair and when it’s more fair it will take a little bit of pressure away from the whole debate I think.”

Vincent Kompany has suffered no loss of belief despite the bruising start to the season suffered by his Burnley side.

Last season Kompany’s men were breaking records as they charged to the Championship title with 101 points, with many – not least Pep Guardiola – talking up the former Manchester City captain’s chances of one day taking over at the Etihad Stadium.

But there has been a major reality check for Burnley since they got back to the top flight and history is now being made for the wrong reasons as they have lost seven straight home league games to start the campaign, and go into Saturday’s match against fellow strugglers Sheffield United rock bottom.

Kompany is paying no attention to the statistics, however, as he remains convinced his side are improving and remain on the right course.

“Statistics are just statistics,” he said. “To me, that’s not why I’m doing the job. If I wanted to take away the risk of this happening maybe I would make different choices in life. For me I’m in it for everything that goes with it.

“No matter what happens, when the story of this gets written however many years from now this is just part of it. I believe in myself a lot as well. That’s the truth of it.”

Although Kompany has stuck to his principles during Burnley’s struggles so far, he insisted that did not mean his side had not been adapting during the season, and pointed to recent improvements in the performances against Crystal Palace, Arsenal and West Ham – even if all three ended in defeat.

“I try and be consistent,” he said. “That’s also a method to get over moments like this, but I think if you look closely at what we’ve done from the start to now, adapting is definitely what we’ve done.

“I don’t know how you give up principles but you adapt. If you break down the positives, the performances we’ve definitely adapted but we knew we had to.

“You can’t come into the Premier League on the back of a season where you had 101 points and the first thing you do is say, ‘I don’t believe you can do it this way’. You have to stress test it first and then adapt.

“We’ve very clearly adapted and that’s given us the narrative of the last three or four games.”

Burnley caught the eye in the Championship with possession-based attacking football, but trying to play like that in the Premier League was always going to be a very difficult challenge.

While Burnley have had to change, Kompany said his own natural aggressive instincts remain.

“The possession reputation comes from the fact we were the better team in the Championship, but I try to make the point that I’m naturally aggressive,” Kompany said. “I was an aggressive player. It’s such an important thing for me.

“Last year we were so good in those moments. The difference is we were better than other teams, we had more of the ball. This season, whether we have the ball or not is not always decided by us.

“The point I’m trying to make is when you don’t have the ball, I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t be like the West Ham game or the Palace game was good as well or Arsenal where we were done by two set plays.

“It’s what wasn’t there at the start of the season but it’s something we always had and hopefully we’ve recovered it now.”

Burnley boss Vincent Kompany had no qualms about the lengthy delay to check an offside call late on in their 2-1 Premier League loss at Bournemouth, but was incensed by the decision not to review a handball in the final moments of the match.

The Clarets suffered an eighth defeat of the campaign after goals by Antoine Semenyo and Philip Billing cancelled out Charlie Taylor’s sweet strike in the 11th minute.

A controversial moment occurred after 89 minutes when Jay Rodriguez fired into the bottom corner and – although it was immediately ruled out for offside – video assistant referee David Coote at Stockley Park took six minutes to review the incident.

Initially a green line was drawn to signal it was onside before a new line was drawn, which showed red and it was eventually ruled out, but Kompany was left stunned that a supposed handball by Chris Mepham was not checked in the eighth minute of added time.

Mepham and Burnley substitute Sander Berge tangled from a Taylor cross which resulted in Bournemouth goalkeeper Andrei Radu making a close-range save that appeared to be from Berge’s head, but Kompany stated it was actually via Mepham’s hand.

“It’s obvious at this moment in time, I will not have anything other than disappointment,” Kompany said.

“I want to address the first thing for me now which is the last thing that happened in the game. The handball situation in the box.

“Games get played on a knife edge but I am trying still to wrap my head around what happened in that moment of time.

“We take five to seven minutes to review the offside or not offside. The line goes green which means goal, the line goes red which means it is not a goal.

“OK, I am a person who always believes in the fact they have taken their time because they want to make the right decision. And a decision gets given against us.

“Tough one to take but then when the situation happens in the last moment of the game and we don’t take time to review the handball?

“There is no call to the referee to delay play when the players have called for it and the staff on the bench, we could see with a wide angle that there was a handball.

“It is the hand that brings the ball down. And there is no check, no delay for the restart and the ball goes and we lose the game. I am trying to understand what is happening in that moment.”

Kompany revealed he did speak with referee Sam Barrott after the match.

He added: “Yeah, I think for the first time in my career since I have been a manager I have actually politely and calmly gone to ask for a word of explanation from the officials.

“They were very open with me and they seemed surprise by the fact we would have liked this (handball) to go to VAR, so it means no one from VAR has told them it was worth reviewing. When you look at it, it is as blatant as it can be.

“I’m fairly confident this one would have taken them 15 seconds (to review).”

While Kompany was flabbergasted, Bournemouth head coach Andoni Iraola was able to toast a first Premier League win at the 10th time of asking thanks to Semenyo’s fine solo goal and Billing’s 76th-minute lob from 40 yards.

“Obviously happy, relieved because I think it was a needed victory for us,” Iraola said.

“Probably when you are in this situation everything costs a lot more. It happened today. We really deserved to win today but with the last VAR decision of the offside, we had to suffer until the end.

“For sure we all were remembering the Brentford game in stoppage-time and thinking it cannot happen again, because we didn’t deserve – we deserved to win clearly the game.”

On the handball, Iraola admitted: “I haven’t seen it.”

Vincent Kompany is refusing to put any extra emphasis on Tuesday’s trip to face fellow Premier League new boys Luton as his side look to end their winless start to the season.

Kompany has spoken repeatedly about the tough start Burnley have faced – they have already suffered defeats against Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle, Tottenham, and Aston Villa – and many fans have been looking to the postponed trip to Kenilworth Road for a much-needed victory.

But the 37-year-old Kompany said it would do his side no good to treat this match differently to any other.

“It’s a mental exercise for me to really try and make no distinction,” he said. “It’s how I have been brought up, it’s how I know football.

“When you’re at the very top and you underestimate the small sides, you lose points. When you’re at the bottom and you overestimate the big sides…you don’t stand a chance.

“So I want to have consistency in every game, doing what it takes to get a result. I understand Luton is someone we faced last season so we’re looking forward to meeting our old friends again.”

This fixture was originally due to be played in the second week of the season but was postponed while Luton worked to upgrade their ground following promotion and Kompany said he felt the delay had benefited both sides in terms of their improvement since the campaign began.

But while Luton’s work was rewarded with a first win when they beat Everton 2-1 at Goodison Park on Saturday, Burnley have taken only one point from their opening six games.

Results are needed now, but Kompany said there had been no loss of confidence within his squad despite the tough start.

“What we did is we went into this with eyes wide open,” he said. “We did a lot of work on managing expectations.

“I can draw a little bit on my own experience. When you get to a certain level, year one or the first three or four months might not feel straightaway when you feel you belong in a place.

“But they’ll battle themselves through it and then they’ll see soon enough that a lot of these players, most of these players, are good enough to play this at this level and actually enjoy success at this level. But you know you’ve to learn the tough way sometimes.”

Kompany insisted he has not been losing any sleep himself, other than during a brief illness last week.

“No chance, on the contrary,” he said when asked if his own confidence had been dented. “I’ve seen enough to believe in the squad.

“But to the point as well, like I’ve said, I’m conscious that it’s not the words ‘I’m happy’. I’m not happy but I’ve seen enough in terms of habits and how these guys approach it to know that they’ll come out stronger from this. They’ll come out a good team.”

Lyle Foster is likely to go straight back into the side after serving a three-match ban for his late red card at Forest and could bring a much-needed boost to a Burnley side who are the lowest scorers in the league.

Foster had scored two in five for Burnley, also netting for South Africa, before his ban.

“I think he was on a trajectory where he showed good signs to be a good player in this league,” Kompany said.

“I think the guys who filled in did well, but you know when you have someone with momentum, you want to keep him as much as you can involved.

“Hopefully tomorrow we can have the Lyle that we had before the suspension and and then everybody knows he is a threat and he scores goals as well.”

Vincent Kompany is excited about Wilson Odobert’s potential after watching the teenager score on his full debut for Burnley in a 4-0 Carabao Cup win over League Two Salford.

The 18-year-old had already tested home goalkeeper Alex Cairns on a couple of occasions before crowning a comfortable win for Burnley with his 81st-minute strike, collecting a cross from the impressive Anass Zaroury and cutting back inside before firing home.

It was only Odobert’s second appearance in a Burnley shirt following his summer move from Troyes and while Kompany will not rush the young Frenchman, the manager wants him to be making a regular contribution soon as the Clarets look to turn around their Premier League form.

“We talk about the team settling and stuff and as I’ve told you, some of the guys who will be the heroes for us this season, you don’t see them but I see them in training and we have to be prepared for them to come into the team,” Kompany said.

“Guys like Wilson are these type of guys. You can see the talent. It’s a matter of time. Is it tomorrow? Is it in a week or a month’s time? We don’t know. We’ll go with them.

“Just like Luca Koleosho, we’ve some exciting players and hopefully they’ll be able to show it very soon for us. We’ll need it.”

Kompany made 11 changes from the side that lost 1-0 to Manchester United on Saturday as he continues to marshal a 34-strong squad and figure out his best combinations.

But even with so many changes, it still felt like a strong selection. Vitinho returned from injury, Odobert made his first start and Jack Cork got only his second run out of the campaign, starting in defence, but most of those involved have already featured regularly this term.

After bringing in 13 new faces this summer, Burnley still need time to gel, as has been reflected by their winless start to the Premier League season. A cup win over a side struggling near the bottom of League Two is only a small step forward, but progress all the same.

“We’ve got a lot of players still gelling together and I don’t think players would have played together as a team,” Kompany said. “Seeing a collective performance is more important than just seeing the individuals for me.”

He added of that gelling process: “It’s not something that’s abnormal. We knew it was part of something that was going to happen and we had it last year. In that sense, it’s not different.

“The level of opposition of course is different but you work hard on the training ground and after every game to make sure the team gets to the level it needs to be at as quickly as possible. You also enjoy that side of it. That’s why we’re coaches…

“It’s still early days for a lot of these guys but in the end, if the collective is robust then you can make adaptations. We prioritised game time – Corky played at centre back as if he had played there for the last 10 years.

“But when you look after the ball and when you have strikers and wingers who can be dangerous, it always gives you a chance to spread the load across the team.”

Manchester City will begin their bid for a record fourth consecutive Premier League title away to Vincent Kompany’s Burnley.

The Treble winners will visit Turf Moor to face their former captain’s newly-promoted side on the evening of Friday, August 11 to raise the curtain on the 2023-24 campaign.

It will be the second time Kompany – who won the title on four occasions as City skipper – will have faced his old side as a manager, with City running out 6-0 winners at the Etihad in March’s FA Cup quarter-final.

Premier League debutants Luton will play their first top-flight fixture since 1992 away to Roberto De Zerbi’s Brighton on Saturday, August 12, having to wait until the following weekend for their first home game when Kenilworth Road will become the smallest ground to host a fixture in the competition for the visit of Burnley.

The other promoted side Sheffield United kick off their season with a home game against Crystal Palace.

The outstanding fixture of the opening weekend will be at Stamford Bridge where Mauricio Pochettino begins life as Chelsea manager against Liverpool on Sunday, August 13, with both sides looking to bounce back after disappointing campaigns.

Arsenal, following an anticlimactic conclusion to last season’s title challenge, open at home to Nottingham Forest in Saturday’s lunchtime game, with fellow Champions League qualifiers Newcastle hosting Aston Villa that evening and Manchester United beginning against Wolves at Old Trafford on Monday, August 14.

Ange Postecoglou’s first game in charge of Tottenham will be away to Brentford at 2pm on Sunday, Bournemouth open at home to Europa Conference League winners West Ham, and Everton, looking to avoid a third straight relegation scrap, begin at home to Fulham.

The first north London derby of the campaign sees Spurs visit Arsenal on September 23 (with the return on April 27) while Man City travel to the Emirates on October 7 for a meeting of last season’s top two.

October 28 at Old Trafford will bring the first Manchester derby since City matched United’s Treble-winning feat of 1999 (United go to the Etihad on March 2), with the champions hosting Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool on November 25.

The first Merseyside derby of the campaign sees Everton go to Anfield on October 21, while Pochettino will take his new side to face his old one when Chelsea visit Tottenham on November 4.

Mikel Arteta is unlikely to be impressed with Arsenal’s schedule, with the club’s first two Champions League fixtures in six years coming immediately ahead of games against Tottenham and City.

Pochettino will receive an early test of his Chelsea rebuild when the Blues face Tottenham, Man City and Newcastle in consecutive games in November.

Luton have been handed a seemingly kind start to life in the Premier League, their only meeting with any of the ‘big six’ in their first seven games coming away at Chelsea on August 26.

The final weekend sees all three promoted sides play at home, with Burnley welcoming Forest, Sheffield United hosting Spurs and Luton playing Fulham.

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