Burnley star Ashley Barnes has described criticism he received from Jose Mourinho earlier this season as "hilarious".
Barnes became public enemy No.1 at Stamford Bridge in February after his tackle on Nemanja Matic was deemed as potentially "career-ending" by Mourinho.
Not only that, but Matic was sent off just moments after the ugly challenge after pushing Barnes to the ground. The game finished 1-1 and Mourinho openly criticised the referee as well as Barnes in an impromptu television appearance.
Article continues below
Out of hand
The Clarets star believes the situation got out of hand and believes the global audience of the Premier League allowed it to spiral. However, he still managed to see the funny side of Mourinho's tirade.
"I knew something was coming straight after the game as I was getting a lot of texts from friends saying my name was all over the place," the Burnley man told The Guardian.
"I think it all got out of hand because everything about the Premier League is scrutinised on a worldwide basis. I did catch him, yes, and I apologised, but at the time I didn't think I'd caught him. I didn't mean it and I didn't do anything wrong.
"It is part of football, you are going to get your ups and downs and that was a down”
"It was a lot harder to take when Jose Mourinho then came out with his lottery numbers and some other stuff. People were then coming out of the woodwork to name thugs and giving me all sorts of names. I found that hilarious.
“The next day I was at home when a friend texted to say I should put the TV on because Mourinho had gone on Goals on Sunday. I turned it over and then turned it back when he was trying to criticise me. I found it funny. It is part of football, you are going to get your ups and downs and that was a down.”
Barnes makes a good point. The tackle was heavily scrutinised by pundits around the world and the strange nature of it left it open to plenty of debate. Some believe Barnes was simply trying to pass the ball and the timing of Matic's tackle saw Barnes's foot land perfectly on Matic's shin.
It looked bad, but it could have also been completely unintentional.
Have Chelsea fans forgiven Barnes yet? Give us your thoughts in the comment box below!
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms