Ashley Barnes tackle: Burnley forward will face no further action for shocking challenge on Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic

Matic was lucky to escape serious injury after a challenge from Barnes but earnt himself a red card with his aggressive reaction

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The Football Association have confirmed that Ashley Barnes will not face any retrospective for his shocking challenge on Nemanja Matic that led to the Chelsea midfielder earning himself a red card for his aggressive response.

25-year-old Barnes caught Matic halfway up his shin with a sickening tackle that could easily have left Matic severely injured, with video replays showing is leg bowing under the challenge of the Burnley forward.

Matic got up off the floor and chased after Barnes, before shoving him to the ground amid a verbal storm of abuse. Having been restrained by his team-mates John Terry and Kurt Zouma, Matic was incensed further when referee Martin Atkinson showed him the red card and not Barnes.


It led Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho to take to Sky Sports’ Goals on Sunday in a surprise guest appearance, in which he described Barnes’ tackle as a “criminal challenge”, while he also strengthened his belief that there is a “campaign” against the Blues this season.

The FA tweeted their decision on the Barnes tackle, in which it claimed that Atkinson did see the tackle meaning that no retrospective action could take place under the current rulings.

In a series of tweets issued on Monday afternoon, the FA said: “FA clarification on the incident involving Burnley’s Ashley Barnes and Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic to follow: 1/5.

“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.

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

“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.

“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 is likely to infuriate Mourinho, who said on Sunday morning that he counted “four mistakes” in the performance from Atkinson, and blasted Barnes for his challenge on Matic.

The Blues' manager has already been fined £25,000 this season for his "campaign" accusation, and risked further punishment when he criticised the referee's performance in his rare television appearance.

Mourinho was furious with the decision not to punish Barnes

“I can’t find the word to describe what that player did,” Mourinho said on Goals on Sunday. “I can clearly understand that football is about emotions and sometimes you lose emotions. Clearly, Matic had a reason to lose his emotions. What could be the consequence of his push for the other player? Nothing. The consequence for Matic could be end of career.

“This [tackle] could be end of career. Because I can’t find another adjective stronger. I just say this is end of career. Matic is a lucky guy.”

See Mourinho's appearance below...


He added: “When I finished at the game against Liverpool, I went to the dressing room and the first thing I saw on the big screen, reading non-stop – ‘Diego Costa crimes’. I would like to know how to you, Sky Sports, describe the actions of the Burnley player yesterday? My English is not good enough to find a word.

Referee Martin Atkinson shows Nemanja Matic a red card

“When you think ‘Diego crimes’ after he puts his boot on a hand, when this is ‘Diego crimes’, the minimum you have to say is ‘criminal tackle’.” Diego Costa has a three-match ban. Matic will probably get three. You tell me how many games you think they deserve.”