Football

Barton exasperated by fuss

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Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton insists the furore surrounding Monday night's tangle with Gabriel Agbonlahor is a case of people "making a mountain out of a molehill".

A fine 2-0 win over Aston Villa at St James' Park, courtesy of Obafemi Martins' brace, was overshadowed by Barton appearing to flick a hand towards Agbonlahor's face after being penalised for a first-half foul.

The FA will now have to wait to see the official's report before deciding if there is a case to answer but Barton told the Newcastle Chronicle: "I thought it was a foul against me, and I had a hold of the ball. We shook hands after the game and that's the way it is. It was all about nothing. Nothing has gone on, people are making a mountain out of a molehill."

Barton returned to action three games ago after serving six games of a 12-game ban imposed following a training-ground incident involving former Manchester City team-mate Ousmane Dabo.

The remaining part of the punishment will come into force should Barton be dismissed for an offence of violent conduct before the end of next season.

Of last night's incident, an FA spokesman said this morning: "It will be a question of establishing whether the referee saw it and dealt with it at the time.

"If he didn't, the procedure would be to get the footage of the incident and ask the referee for his views."

If Bennett confirms he saw and dealt with the incident at the time, no further action will be taken.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2008, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Joey Barton
Gabriel Agbonlahor
Football
Manchester City
Premier League
Obafemi Martins
Aston Villa
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