Twitter Reacts as Ashley Barnes Escapes Punishment for Nemanja Matic Tackle

Ryan Bailey@ryanjaybaileyFeatured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2015

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 21:  Referee Martin Atkinson shows the red card to Nemanja Matic of Chelsea for his reaction to the tackle by Ashley Barnes of Burnley during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Burnley at Stamford Bridge on February 21, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Jose Mourinho is no stranger to expressing his dismay at the referees, players and various external influences that have unfairly impeded his Chelsea side's path to glory.

After Saturday's draw with Burnley, the Special One identified four key incidents that cost his side three points, the most incendiary of which was a "criminal" studs-up tackle by Ashley Barnes on Nemanja Matic.   

On Monday, the Football Association tweeted their decision to let the Burnley forward go unpunished for a foul that was bad enough to bring the red mist down on the Serbian defensive midfielder. The English governing body claimed that no further action would be taken because the referee had seen the incident. 

The FA @FA

FA clarification on the incident involving Burnley’s Ashley Barnes and Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic to follow: 1/5

The FA @FA

In the vast majority of challenges for the ball, no retrospective action is taken as the incident has been seen by the match officials 2/5

The FA @FA

Retrospective action introduced as deterrent for ‘off the ball incidents’ [e.g. kicks, stamps etc.] committed out of sight of officials 3/5

The FA @FA

Whole game in agreement that, in vast majority of cases, match officials are best-placed to deal with incidents to avoid re-refereeing 4/5

The FA @FA

In line with this rationale, FA confirm no further action in relation to Ashley Barnes as incident was seen by the officials 5/5

The decision left plenty of Chelsea fans outraged, but many neutral observers were astonished to note referee Martin Atkinson actually saw the challenge but still took no action...

Gary Lineker @GaryLineker

So Martin Atkinson did see Ashley Barnes' tackle on Matic. Wow!

Garry Hayes @garryhayes

Judging by the FA's tweets on it (see RTs) Atkinson saw the incident, hence no retrospective action. So will the ref be reprimanded? #CFC

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Harry @CFC__Harry

So if Atkinson is saying he saw the tackle on Matic,he should never referee again.

Brighty @Mark__Bright

If Martin Atkinson saw the Ashley Barnes challenge & thought it wasn't worthy of red card, then football is in grave danger. #cfc @FA

Jordy Henley @JordyHenley6

No further action to be taken on the matic tackle because the referee saw it? He shouldnt be refereeing again this season. @FA

CESAR AZPII💙🔥 @GeetaChelseaFC

So Atkinson saw the foul on Matic😒 he should NEVER officiate a top flight football game again

Thanks to this high-profile blunder, Atkinson has been relieved of duty for this coming weekend (as per The Telegraph)...

Duncan Alexander @oilysailor

Atkinson ordered to watch Man Utd struggle from the touchline this weekend, just like his dad Ron in the 1980s.

Inevitably, the decision to punish the victim of the tackle and not the assailant has set Twitter tongues wagging...

Paddy Power @paddypower

The FA will be taking no further action against Ashley Barnes for his tackle on Matic. http://t.co/znJYNnieiQ

Chelsea HQ @Chelsea_HQ

He tried to break Matic's leg but hey, the referee saw it so we can't punish him!

Darren Lewis @MirrorDarren

Even objective fans of rival clubs incredulous at the fact that #Matic will serve a ban while Barnes will not face any action.

Darren Lewis @MirrorDarren

Don't condone it but if refs see tackles like the one on #Matic & don't act then players will continue to take law into their own hands.

The perceived injustice has also spelled a healthy revival for the #CampaignAgainstChelsea hashtag...

iChelseaTweets @iChelseaTweets

RT if you hate Martin Atkinson and believe there is a #CampaignAgainstChelsea ! http://t.co/L1YHZIoswU

Ahmed. @ahmed_hamed11

The picture on the left: 3 games ban. The picture on the right: not even a yellow card. #CampaignAgainstChelsea http://t.co/QHotlosbWq

Dave B. ✊🏾 @DavidBamgboye1

All the evidence you need for #CampaignAgainstChelsea http://t.co/GaVtwEEbNT

Asuku @KanteCesc

Costa would've gotten 10-12 match ban for that tackle #CampaignAgainstChelsea

Gemma Andrews @GemmaaaLou

Costa gets banned for treading on Can's foot. Barnes gets nothing for attempting to break Matić's leg... #CampaignAgainstChelsea.

Unfitforpurpose @unfitforpurpose

I'm joining all 20 EPL referees in their campaign against Chelsea http://t.co/0YclT1weII #CampaignAgainstChelsea

Bitter Blue @BlueAndBitter

If Matic loses his appeal, it will confirm the #CampaignAgainstChelsea and will confirm #TheCorruptFA

The Blues have until 1pm on Tuesday to appeal Matic's red card (as per the Daily Mail), and many media sources have suggested this is the route they will take. However, there are some doubts as to whether this is the correct course of action...

Messi Minutes @MessiMinutes

Surprised to see Chelsea appeal the Matic red card. If it is deemed frivolous (which seems likely) he'll probably miss a 4th game.

Martyn Ziegler @martynziegler

Strange move for Chelsea to appeal Matic red card, even Courtois said on MOTD "the sending off was correct". Barnes should be banned too tho

Matt Riggs 🐝 @riggsybfc

Love it if Matic gets an extra game for a frivolous appeal by Chelsea.

There has also been a Twitter backlash against Jose Mourinho, who insisted upon appearing on Sky Sports' Goals on Sunday to air his grievances...

Jaidan @jaidoocey

Amazing how Mourinho is given 2 hours on TV to sit and moan about referees and try and brainwash people into thinking Chelsea are saints

Darren @rajman74

Sky are pathetic for giving Mourinho a platform to moan about officials and push his agenda unchallenged.

Sheehan1976 @Sheehan1966

#benshephard hasn't look so uncomfortable & awkward since he was on daybreak #Mourinho #GOS #GoalsOnSunday #CFC http://t.co/nWFB7tnUEY

Rob Warner @robwar1

Mourinho's belly aching might be getting tiresome but it's ridiculous rules like this that show he's got a point...and more to moan about 😩

Ashley Marsh @ashleymarsh96

I hope Chelsea lose the title. Just to hear Mourinho moan and say everyone was against. Hopefully he might walk out of an interview

Max Murphy @maxjamesmurphy

How can Mourinho moan about people not being sent of etc? http://t.co/t5ijKQPYrC

There is no shortage of Twitter users who are accusing Mou of being a tad hypocritical. His reaction to terrible John Obi Mikel challenge on Mikel Arteta that broke the Spaniard's shin pad is particularly damning...

Scott Patterson @R_o_M

When Mikel broke Arteta's shin pad with a high tackle and wasn't sent off, Mourinho said this: https://t.co/j8RaRju5cv

Chris Smalling @RedFlag_MUFC

This makes for a very interesting reading #CampaignAgainstChelsea http://t.co/ag2swHv2nL

Jack @afcjackk

Mourinho is the biggest hypocrite going.

UberArsenal™ @UberAFC

December 2013 Mourinho [on Mikel's horror tackle on Arteta]: 'Football is a game for men not boys' #Hypocrite 🐸☕️ http://t.co/uC5ziwNVjy

scott williams @strebby1

Does Mourinho not remember Eto'o's challenge on Jordan Henderson? #hypocrite

Gary Lawrence @garythegooner56

Mourinho is a hypocrite he defended a similar challenge to the Barnes one when Mikel broke Arteta's shin pad & said nothing about Cahill's>

Adam Jordan @AdamJordan23

Mourinho can moan all he likes about the red but it evens itself out as this should have been a red aswell http://t.co/dNLUzu7LyA"

In the interest of balance, Mourinho is by no means the first football manager to say something hypocritical, and his perceived "moaning" is essentially his method of protecting his players. Of course, this didn't stop Noel Gallagher calling him a "whinger" on MOTD...

As we await the outcome of the Blues' appeal for Matic's red card, the Daily Mail have provided us with a chilling Photoshop representation of the Portuguese manager morphing into a gaffer who turned complaining and mind games into an art form.

Prepare to have your dreams haunted... 

MailOnline Sport @MailSport

Mourinho's turning into the new Fergie with his use of the dark arts | @MikeKeegan_DM http://t.co/mF5f8OK55o http://t.co/gybE1urrGT

Follow me @RyanJayBailey

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