Newcastle’s Joey Barton has admitted he “went down easy” in an altercation with Gervinho but insists the Arsenal striker deserved to be sent off.
Gervinho was dismissed on his Gunners debut for slapping Barton, who was booked for dragging him to his feet.
After the 0-0 draw, Barton tweeted: “I went down easy, no doubt. Still, can’t raise your hands. Referee got it right.
“If you raise your hands to faces, you should be off. What do people want me to do, stand and trade blows?”
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger argued that both players deserved the same punishment.
“I don’t understand the red card,” said Wenger. “I am 100% sure the referee did not see what happened.
“I think he had his back turned to the incident. If he had seen it, he would have sent both of them off, or nobody.”
The pair tangled after striker Gervinho went down in the Magpies area, with midfielder Barton marching over to remonstrate with the Ivorian.
“Why does Joey Barton go over there and grab him up?” added Wenger. “It is a yellow to the two or a red to the two, and what happened is not serious.
“Will I appeal? I will have a good look at it but I am tempted to say yes.”
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew defended Barton, who is on the transfer list at St James Park after criticising the club and only played in Saturday’s draw after persuading his manager he was committed to the cause.
“He (Gervinho) dived, there is no doubt about that,” Pardew said. “Joey’s reaction was to chastise him and then there was a tussle. But then he slapped him and you can’t do that.” —