LONDON (AFP) – Burnley manager Sean Dyche has responded angrily to Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho’s criticism of referee Martin Atkinson and Clarets forward Ashley Barnes.
Mourinho was furious with Atkinson and Barnes after Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic was sent off for shoving the Burnley player in response to a nasty tackle high on his shin at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Struggling Burnley took advantage of their numerical superiority to snatch a shock 1-1 draw against the Premier League leaders, prompting Mourinho to slam Atkinson and describe Barnes’ challenge as “criminal” during a lengthy television interview on Sunday.
Chelsea’s website also broke down the incidents, while publishing the views of personalities who agreed with their manager.
But in an interview with Burnley TV on Monday, which Dyche claimed was necessary to “give a balanced view” on the game’s events, the Burnley boss defended Barnes’ tackle.
“When moments like that occur, it’s very rare there is not a reaction to that moment in the stadium,” Dyche said.
“Look at the reaction from a bunch of expert footballers from the Chelsea side – the likes of John Terry, Kurt Zouma, Branislav Ivanovic – big, strong boys who are on top of this moment.
“Jose Mourinho has a similar view to me, the crowd behind me, circa 15,000, no-one reacts. In live time no-one reacts except Matic.
“After the event, with hindsight and slow motion, statements like ‘criminal tackle’ are being used. I find that hard to adjust to.”
Dyche was also adamant that Barnes’ tackle was not malicious and he claimed it was simply a natural movement of his leg after the forward failed to complete a pass.
“After the event of course, it looks an ugly challenge,” Dyche said.
“Ashley Barnes tried to play the ball down to Dave Jones behind him, his momentum and the pendulum motion of his leg swings up through the ball.
“Matic is late getting there – not in a vicious way – but that means his (Barnes’) leg pendulums through and hits him on the shin.”