The Consequences of Nemanja Matic’s 3-Match Ban


Nemanja Matic has received a 3-match ban for his reaction to a very rash tackle from Ashley Barnes. That is final, pending Chelsea FC‘s appeal of it of course. We can debate if a straight-red was appropriate, or if there should have been a red for Barnes’ leg-breaking tackle, but that will not change the call the referee made on the day. As a fan, I am enraged, but I am also not tempted to dwell on something that will not change.

More from The Pride of London

My immediate reaction was to take a peek at the scoreline two hours later… and see that Manchester City took impressive advantage of the two dropped points. Arsenal also took advantage of Manchester United’s loss, albeit in a much less emphatic fashion.

The current table sees Chelsea leading at 60 points, Manchester City in second with 55 points, Arsenal in third at 48 points, and Manchester United keeping the seat warm in Arsenal’s favorite table spot with 47 points.

With eight games left in the season, a 3-match ban  for Matic is a bad blow for Jose Mourinho and the boys from the Bridge. Can Chelsea survive the home stretch, or will somebody else pounce at the chance?

The Blues and Tottenham split their season series but Spurs have the upper hand with their emphatic 5-3 victory over Chelsea on New Year’s Day. That was one of Chelsea’s worst performances of the season and they were hammered by a resilient and dynamic Spurs squad.

This is not your usual mentally weak Spurs team we have come to expect. Whatever Mauricio Pochettino has done has made them much stronger both mentally and physically as they seem to make remarkable comebacks week in and week out.

Manchester City is in formidable form, having taken full advantage of Chelsea’s slip this weekend, but will they be able to fend off Liverpool at Anfield? Let us not forget the resilient Southampton, currently one point behind Manchester United, and the recently inspired Liverpool and Tottenham lurking around with 45 and 44 points.

If the red card and subsequent 3-match ban is upheld, Nemanja Matic will also miss out on a trip to West Ham and a date with Southampton at Stamford Bridge. Both sides have been resurgent this season with the Saints seriously challenging for a top four place and the Hammers looking a much changed side from the 19th century football of last year.

In that same stretch, City will face Leicester City and Burnley, two fixtures where they should get all three points. Burnley did come back from a 2-0 deficit at the Etihad to share the points in their first meeting so who knows what we can expect from that fixture. Leicester are propping up the Premier League table but they have some surprises in them.

More from Chelsea FC News

The Foxes defeated Manchester United earlier in the year and took Everton to the brink this past weekend. There is some quality in that side but Blues fans should not hold their breath to see if City slips up. Instead we must hope that whoever steps up in place of Nemanja Matic can lift their game to the Serbian’s lofty level.

Photos by @cfcunoffical. On Twitter and at

Next: Terry Deserves New Deal