Burnley winger Michael Kightly leaps to Ashley Barnes’ defence

Ashley Barnes Burnley

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Burnley winger Michael Kightly insists team-mate Ashley Barnes is not a dirty player following Saturday’s incident against Chelsea, which saw Nemanja Matic sent off.

The Clarets came away from Saturday’s game at Stamford Bridge with a share of the points and a 1-1 draw, snatching a late equaliser when Chelsea were reduced to 10-men.

Chelsea took the lead through Branislav Ivanovic but failed to kill the game off and allowed the relegation-threatened outfit back in when Ben Mee headed home in the second half.

The turning point in the game appeared to be when Barnes overran the ball and in stretching to win it back, he caught Matic high on the leg.

Barnes escaped without any punishment but Matic’s response was to chase after the Burnley man and forcefully push him to the ground.

Referee Martin Atkinson immediately pulled out the red card, meaning the Serbian will now miss the Capital One Cup final next weekend.

However, Kightly has defended his team mate and insists that he does not have a nasty side to his game.

Kightly said: “Their players were saying to me he had been doing it the whole game but Ash is not a nasty person.

“He competes. If you can’t compete what can you do?

“It’s a part of his game that he is very good at. He gets hold of the ball and he’s effective but he’s not a dirty player in any way.

“For me I didn’t see anything wrong but obviously from their point of view, they’ll be disappointed that he [Matic] reacted like that.”

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