LONDON (AFP) – Jose Mourinho accused Burnley’s Ashley Barnes of making a “criminal” tackle on Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic as the Blues’ boss let rip at refereeing standards and media coverage of his team.
Matic was sent off for his angry reaction to Barnes’ tackle in the 70th minute of Chelsea’s 1-1 draw against struggling Burnley at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
While Serbian midfielder Matic was dismissed, Burnley forward Barnes went unpunished by referee Martin Atkinson and the Clarets took advantage of their numerical advantage to snatch a late equaliser.
Mourinho had little to say in his post-match press conference, simply listing the key moments in the game and adding: “If you look at these moments you know exactly what I think about the game.”
But he was much more forthcoming when appearing on Goals on Sunday on Sky Sports – a network he had strongly criticised for their coverage of Diego Costa’s stamp on Liverpool’s Emre Can last month, when replays of the incident carried the strapline ‘Costa’s crimes’.
Costa was later handed a retrospective three-match ban.
Taking the opportunity to turn the tables, Mourinho used a question about Barnes’ tackle to repeat his complaint.
“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’,” he said.
“I would like to know how you, Sky Sports, describe the actions of the Burnley player yesterday? My English is not good enough to find a word.
“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’.
“Did you apologise to Chelsea, to Diego or myself? You didn’t. As an institution, Sky is so important in the Premier League, you never apologise.
“When Diego Costa has a three-match ban, probably three matches to Matic… tell me how many matches this player deserves?”
Mourinho was fined £25,000 (US$38,000) by the Football Association in January for claiming there was a “campaign” in the media against Chelsea, but on Sunday he maintained his attack on the reporting of the west London club.
“I don’t like the fact you start immediately, in that moment, the public judgement of the player,” he added about the Costa coverage.
“You gave no space to the people that have to decide, the pressure was so much.
“You don’t do this with every club, with every player. Last year, Yaya Toure against Norwich, you didn’t have the same approach; (Robin) van Persie against West Ham, you didn’t have the same approach.
“This one (on Saturday) was even worse. This can be end of career. Matic is a very lucky guy.”