Barton says this about Gabriel challenge in Arsenal FA Cup tie

Joey Barton is no stranger to a full-bloodied tackle and the midfielder has had his say on the debated challenge from Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista.


Joey Barton has said on MOTD2, broadcast on March 13 at 11.15pm, that Gabriel Paulista's two-footed challenge on Troy Deeney during the FA Cup tie between Arsenal and Watford only warranted a yellow card.


During the first half, the Gunners defender dived into a 50-50 tackle with Deeney, but after leaving the ground with his studs up, it was widely considered that he should have been dismissed for the foul, which received no action from referee Andre Marriner.


While Barton has acknowledged that Gabriel should have been cautioned for the offence, he feels that the manner of the challenge represented what was at stake for both clubs, with Watford's victory earning them a fixture at Wembley in the last four and an opportunity to reach the final.


Barton said: "There is an argument that it is a yellow card. It's a committed challenge, but people are forgetting that it's the FA Cup quarter-final and it is 10 or 15 minutes into the game.


"It's important to set a marker down and it's a full-bloodied challenge. It probably is a yellow card but I like to see tackling in football. It's important."


After a goalless first half, Odion Ighalo put Watford into the lead at the Emirates Stadium before Adlene Guedioura struck a venomous effort into the roof of the net.


Danny Welbeck pulled one back for the North London outfit in the closing stages but they could not find an equaliser as they suffered their first defeat in the competition since February 2013.

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