Chelsea’s Matic resigned to losing appeal and missing out on Wembley final

Serb sent off for retaliation following horrific tackle by Burnley’s Ashley Barnes

Nemanja Matic is resigned to missing Sunday's League One Cup final despite Chelsea's decision to lodge an appeal with the English FA against his sending off for pushing over Ashley Barnes during the draw with Burnley.

The Serb midfielder was dismissed by the referee, Martin Atkinson, whose oversight in missing Barnes's horrific tackle which prompted that reaction has led to the referee being rested from next weekend's Premier League fixture list.

Chelsea have opted to appeal on the grounds of excessive sentence which, if successful, is likely to see Matic’s prospective three-match ban reduced but not overturned, ruling him out of the final at Wembley.

A claim against wrongful dismissal technically carried the risk – albeit slim – of incurring an extra game suspension if the appeal was rejected.


But Chelsea, whose lead at the top of the Premier League may have been cut to two points by the time they resume their pursuit of the title, are expected to call on evidence from Tottenham’s derby draw with West Ham on Sunday in their case to have Matic’s sanction reduced.

Jan Vertonghen reacted to a challenge from Mark Noble on Nabil Bentaleb in that game by pushing the visitors' midfielder to the ground but neither player was punished. Vertonghen is set to start Sunday's showpiece.

Chelsea, who have until 1pm today to submit their evidence and are pursuing the claim with the backing of their owner, Roman Abramovich, are considering citing a number of other incidents this season in evidence.

They include another clash involving Vertonghen, his grapple with Sheffield United's Chris Basham in the semi-final of the Capital One Cup. Swansea's Wayne Routledge had a red card rescinded after he was sent off for retaliation following a foul by QPR's Karl Henry on New Year's Day. Guardian Service