Arsenal's Gervinho given three-game ban after red card

Gervinho and Joey Barton
Gervinho clashed with Joey Barton, sparking a mass brawl

Arsenal striker Gervinho has been banned for three matches following his sending off in the opening game of the season at Newcastle.

The 24-year-old was dismissed after a clash with Joey Barton in which the Newcastle midfielder fell to the turf.

The Gunners had lodged an appeal that the standard three-match suspension for a straight red card was excessive.

But a Football Association commission rejected the claim, meaning the Ivorian must serve the ban.

The 24-year-old, who joined Arsenal in the close season from Lille for a reported fee of £10.5m, will therefore miss matches against Liverpool, Manchester United and Swansea.

Controversial midfielder Barton, who was only given a yellow card for his part in the altercation, admitted on Twitterexternal-link that he "went down easily" following a slap from Gervinho.

Both Arsenal and Newcastle were charged by the FA for failing to control their players, while Gunners midfielder Alex Song faces a separate charge of violent conduct after a stamp on Barton, which was missed by referee Peter Walton.

Barton also appeared on the BBC Radio 5 live phone-in programme 606 and said: "I shouldn't have gone over and lifted Gervinho by his shirt, that's not the correct thing to do.

"I should have let the referee handle it, who I thought was outstanding on the day. I felt disappointed by Gervinho trying to win a penalty, in my opinion he was seeking to gain an unfair advantage."

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