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Barton blasts 'stupid' Diaby

Magpie blasts Gunner's reaction after sending-off changes game

Last Updated: 06/02/11 4:02pm

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Diaby: Sent off

Diaby: Sent off

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Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton has branded Abou Diaby's reaction as stupid after the Arsenal man was sent off in the amazing clash at St James' Park on Saturday.

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"I think it was stupid from him. They were 4-0 up, there was no need for him to react the way he reacted"
- Joey Barton on Abou Diaby's reaction to his strong challenge Quotes of the week

Arsene Wenger's side were 4-0 up and cruising when Diaby was incensed by a ferocious but legal challenge from Barton.

He pushed him to the ground before raising his hands to Kevin Nolan, giving referee Phil Dowd little option but to send Diaby off.

The numerical advantage helped the Magpies score four goals to hit Arsenal's title charge and earn a memorable draw.

Don't understand

Barton, who scored two penalties in the amazing comeback, said: "I don't understand Diaby's reaction. I went in one-footed, cleanly took the ball and my momentum carried me into him.

"I think it was stupid from him. They were 4-0 up, there was no need for him to react the way he reacted. For me, it wasn't an issue.

"If the Arsenal players don't like being tackled, they should go and play basketball or netball or one of the other games."

Barton believes the Magpies missed out on the win after hauling themselves back into the game after the Gunners had been four-up inside 26 minutes.

He added: "If anything sums up football, that was it.

"At half-time, the game was over against such a great side as Arsenal. But a little bit of lack of discipline with them and the momentum swung in our favour.

Lost words

"We could have won the game 5-4, 6-4 - Kevin Nolan had a good chance. Very rarely am I lost for words, but in this case, I am a little bit.

"It doesn't happen every week, that. Days like this are few and far between. I don't think the old ticker can take too many more of those."

Barton hailed the spirit in the Newcastle dressing room to fight back the way they did.

He added: "It speaks volumes for the spirit and the character in there that we went out and were able to do what we did out there.

"I am honoured and privileged to have been part of it."

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