Remember when Manchester City played QPR in the biggest game in the club’s history? Of course you do.
It was a game that not only won City the Premier League, but it was a 90 minutes that simply had it all: goals, breakneck attacks and a red card for Joey Barton.
After a tangle with City striker Carlos Tevez, Barton threw an elbow in his face. The fracas didn’t end there. After Barton was shown a red card, he completely lost the plot, booting Sergio Aguero, throwing a headbutt at Vincent Kompany and going for Mario Balotelli on the bench before he marched down the tunnel.
Here’s how it played out:
While City were battling to beat Manchester United to the title, QPR were fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table. And Barton insists that it wasn’t his idea to go for a number of City players after he saw red, but it was Rangers striker Bobby Zamora’s idea.
“Tevez punched me in the face. I checked his run and for no reason he decided … because we were 1-1 and they thought ‘We’re ****ing this up’, which is what they were doing,”
“To this day I don’t know why he did it, but I knew he was going to play a one-two and I’d read it way before he’d done it.
“I got in front of him and checked his run, and he kind of jumped on my back. He’s never getting to the ball, so I’m shielding the ball, and as he does it he jumps and kind of swings his arm across me.
“In my eyes, he’s tried to punch me. I know what he’s done, he knows what he’s done.
“I was thinking the ref had seen it, but it was clear the linesman hadn’t spotted it and Mike Dean hadn’t spotted it, So I was like ‘You little ****’.
“I don’t like Tevez anyway, from playing against him, so I thought ‘F*** you, you’re getting a bit.’
“The red mist descended, and I thought no-one was watching because they had already missed the first one. So I waited for him to come behind me and just elbowed him in the face.
“Obviously he has gone down. The linesman hasn’t seen it, but he’s seen him go down, and flagged.
“And Aguero is running over. No-one has seen it but Aguero is saying to Mike Dean ‘He’s elbowed him, he’s elbowed him’.
“I was thinking I might get away with a yellow, but … red card.
“Bobby Zamora came over and said ‘Take one with you’, to even it up – a draw was a good result for us, as we stay up on a draw.”
What a game. We’re not sure we believe Barton, but we all remember how that game ended: