AC Milan defender Philippe Mexes was sent off in the closing stages of a highly-charged Serie 'A' clash against Lazio on Saturday following his angry reaction to a pretty inconspicuous altercation with Stefano Mauri.
The 32-year-old grabbed the opposition captain by the throat and pulled at his shirt after he was tripped from behind by the Italian midfielder, who flung out a leg as the pair tussled for the ball near the halfway line.
Referee Paolo Mazzoleni brandished a red card to the France international which sparked a mass brawl after Mexes went back to Mauri for more, first trying to head-butt his rival before grabbing him from behind.
With seven minutes already added on to a game that was packed full of incidents and other talking points, play was delayed even further as the man in the middle tried to restore order.
Jeremy Menez had given the visitors an early lead at Stadio Olimpico after putting Filippo Inzaghi's side 1-0 up inside the opening five minutes, but two goals from Marco Parolo and one from Miroslav Klose after the interval secured Lazio a comeback victory and extended Milan's winless run in the league to five matches.
Mexes perhaps summed up the general frustration felt by everyone connected to the Italian giants, who have struggled to find any sort of consistency this season, with the latest result leaving them languishing in tenth place in the table.
Still, there's no justifying the fiery Frenchman's actions as tempers flared in Rome in stoppage time, and after the game he was quick to realise the error of his ways by releasing the following statement.
"I have to apologise to the club, the coach and my family," he was quoted saying by BBC Sport. "It was the wrong reaction and I am sorry because I left the team with 10 men and I will be suspended.
"I have children and this is not the sort of example that a father should set," Philippe Mexes
"Unfortunately I made a mistake. In my career I have had these reactions. These things should not happen out on a football pitch. I have children and this is not the sort of example that a father should set."
Cheers for stating the bleeding obvious, Phil!
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