There were bizarre scenes in the Premier League clash between Burnley and Cardiff City on Saturday when striker Ashley Barnes was shown a yellow card after kissing rival Joe Bennett on the nose.
With Burnley 1-0 up at Turf Moor after Chris Wood’s opener, Barnes and Bennett squared up face-to-face late in the first half after the Cardiff man had brought down Barnes and then appeared to stand on him.
The pair brought their heads together before Barnes sarcastically planted two kisses at the top of Bennett’s nose, with both earning a booking from referee Mike Dean.
The incident led to widespread hilarity on social media, including from BBC pundit Gary Linker, who joked: “Ashley Barnes has received a yellow card after coming face-to-face with Joe Bennett. Barnes kissed Bennet on the nose (honestly), not once but twice. Lucky perhaps not to get 2 yellows.”
Ashley Barnes has received a yellow card after coming face-to-face with Joe Bennett. Barnes kissed Bennet on the nose (honestly), not once but twice. Lucky perhaps not to get 2 yellows. 💋💋
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) April 13, 2019
Others reacted with shocked humor to the unorthodox expression of anger at a an opponent.
Ashley Barnes has been shown a yellow card for kissing Joe Bennett during Burnley vs Cardiff.
— GiveMeSport Football (@GMS__Football) April 13, 2019
Ashley Barnes squares up to Joe Bennett following a foul just outside the area and kisses him twice on the nose. Referee Mike Dean doesn’t buy the affection and gives him a yellow
— Eleanor Crooks (@EleanorcrooksPA) April 13, 2019
Barnes getting booked for kissing Bennett is one of the funniest things I’ve seen all season😂😂😂 #twitterclarets
— Connor Birnie (@connorbirniee) April 13, 2019
Relegation-threatened Cardiff were left fuming after they were denied what they felt was a clear penalty in the second half, when a handball was given against Ben Mee, only for Dean to reverse the decision after speaking to the linesman.
Neil Warnock’s Welsh side face an uphill struggle to claw themselves to safety with time running out. Defeat at Burnley would keep them five points adrift of safety with five games to play.