Gervinho off on debut as Arsenal held.By Reda Maher
Gervinho's Arsenal debut ended in disgrace as he was sent off in a goalless Premier League draw at Newcastle United.
With a quarter of an hour left the striker, bought for Au12 million from Lille and Arsenal's only major summer signing so far, was shown a straight red card for a slap on Joey
Barton, who had become incensed with the Ivorian after he took a blatant dive in the box.
Barton was hardly blameless blame·less
Free of blame or guilt; innocent.
blame he sparked the confrontation by hauling Gervinho to his feet to remonstrate with him following the dive, and made a meal of what was ultimately light contact but Arsene Wenger will now have to do without his new man for three games, with a violent conduct charge sure to follow.
It was not the only incident involving Barton, who was certainly the victim earlier in the half when Alex Song escaped with only a yellow card for a nasty stamp on the prostrate pros·trate
tr.v. pros·trat·ed, pros·trat·ing, pros·trates
1. To put or throw flat with the face down, as in submission or adoration: Newcastle midfielder that referee Peter Walton missed.
The game itself was somewhat of a non-event: Most tellingly Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri Samir Nasri (Arabic: سمير ناصري; born 26 June 1987 in Marseille) is a French attacking midfielder. were omitted from the Arsenal squad ahead of proposed transfers to Barcelona and Manchester City, while for Toon the talking point was Barton's presence, an unlikely starter given that two weeks ago he was offered a free transfer and slapped with a fine following a series of rogue tweets.
Both sets of players were all smiles at the end, Barton and Song embracing after their previous dalliance, but the focus now shifts to what both clubs will do to improve squads left short by recent and impending im·pend
intr.v. im·pend·ed, im·pend·ing, im·pends
1. To be about to occur: Her retirement is impending.
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