• Premier League

Dyche hits back at Mourinho over Barnes tackle

ESPN staff
February 23, 2015
Moreno: Barnes should have got three match ban

Burnley manager Sean Dyche has defended Ashley Barnes for his challenge on Chelsea's Nemanja Matic during last weekend's 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.

The challenged, dubbed a "criminal tackle" by Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, provoked an angry reaction from Matic, which led to the Serb being sent off for pushing Barnes.

The FA confirmed on Monday that no retrospective action would be taken on Barnes before manager Dyche hit back at Mourinho for comments made during an appearance on Goals on Sunday.

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"The likes of John Terry, a real warrior, [Kurt] Zouma, big strong boys, [Branislav] Ivanovic right on top of this moment, Jose Mourinho, similar view to me, the crowd behind me, circa 15,000, no-one reacts apart from Matic," Dyche said.

"In fact if you look at the footage when the camera pans back to Mourinho and his assistant, they're calmly talking about what they should do.

"Now after the event with hindsight, with camera views, with slow-motion, statements like criminal tackle are being used.

"I find it hard to believe that all these people who have now come out, especially the manager using very strong phrases about that moment didn't have any reaction at all at that live moment.

"I find that one a hard one to accept at that live moment. Afterwards we can all slo-mo, we can all re-angle and things often look different after the event when you've got all the technology that you've got."

Dyche added: "On slow motion, of course it looks ugly but there was contact with the ball [from Barnes]. I would suggest once you are in that pendulum motion to play a pass it is very difficult to then retract your leg immediately and stop your leg from going through that ball and rising.

"But I must make it clear that, when you see it in slow mo, it does not look pleasant."

Dyche also addressed the other three incidents that Mourinho cited in his post-match comments, including two Chelsea penalty appeals that referee Martin Atkinson turned down before half-time.

The Burnley manager admits Michael Kightly's handball in the 33rd minute would "usually" result in a spot-kick but insisted Jason Shackell's apparent push on Diego Costa eight minutes later was not as clear-cut.

"Jason Shackell definitely gets a mild hand on him - is that enough for him to go down? It's a real debating point," Dyche said. "That's a close one. The first one usually gets given but that one is a real tough one for referees.

"[Costa] is off balance anyway, he gets a slight nudge and he goes down. I'm not remotely saying he went down easily or is trying to simulate, I just mean it's a mild contact which inevitably means he ends up on the floor.

"I think that's a tough one, particularly when you consider the referee's actual angle to see that incident."

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