Yannick Bolasie was in fine form during the second half of Crystal Palace’s win over Stoke City yesterday afternoon, tormenting the Potters’ defence (specifically Phil Bardsley) to the point where they felt compelled to lash out.
Happy to embrace the adulation that was directed towards him after a sublime run which set up Dwight Gayle for Palace’s equaliser at the start of the second half, Yannick was full of tricks and flicks for the remainder of the game, resulting in an angry reaction from a number of the visiting players.
Tensions had already begun to rise when the DR Congo wide-man dribbled from one side of their penalty area to the other, only to be cynically hacked down from behind by an obviously irate Stephen Ireland. Whilst some would potentially shrink in moments such as that, Bolasie’s character has always seen him lurch in the other direction, taking it as a signal to continue his tricks and flicks in a bid to edge further into the minds of the opposition.
This almost matador-like quality was best shown when he found himself with the ball at his feet on the touchline in front of the Holmesdale Fanatics, where he bent down low and swiped the turf with his arm in a show of true defiance at the Stoke defenders, prompting them to rush him off the ball in a moment of anger driven stupidity.
The video above caught the incident from close-range, and shows what appears to be a cross between a forearm across the face and an attempted punch from Phil Bardsley on Yannick, which unfortunately went completely unpunished. The referee did in fact speak to Yala following the incident, appearing to warn him that his antics may well see him sustain a serious injury should he continue to toy with the visitors between then and the final whistle.
Have a look for yourself and decide. Did Bardsley punch Bolasie in a moment of madness?