24 Feb 2015

Martin Atkinson given break from refereeing duties after controversial officiating at Chelsea

Martin Atkinson's refereeing duties have been overlooked this weekend following a number of controversial decisions during Chelsea’s draw with Burnley last Saturday.

Atkinson will instead be fourth official on the touchline for Manchester United’s clash with Sunderland at Old Trafford this weekend.

The clash at Stamford Bridge was Atkinson's 32nd game as head arbitrator this season following his game in charge of Real Madrid's Champions League win at Schalke on Wednesday.

However, Atkinson's services will not be needed in the middle of the park this week after his string of contested decisions in west London.

Atkinson will, however, take charge of the match between Southampton and Crystal Palace at St Mary's on March 3.

In the wake of the ill-tempered encounter with Sean Dyche's side, Blues boss Mourinho made a rare extra-curricular television appearance to air his views to the nation on this week's instalment of Sky Sports'Goals on Sunday.

Gracing our screens armed with an arsenal of ammunition, Mourinho brought up certain refereeing decisions that he believes have gone unfairly against his team this season.

Singling out four key incidents from Saturday's match during his 27-minute sofa soliloquy, Mourinho laid into Atkinson's decision making on the day, including a specific incident between Nemanja Matic and Ashley Barnes, which saw his influential midfielder dismissed for violent retaliation following a dangerous tackle from the Burnley forward.

Barnes will not face retrospective action from the FA for his studs-up challenge on Matic, which was seen by Atkinson but went unpunished.

Credit: Jack Briden/SportsMail

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