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Barton sorry after landing red card
QPR midfielder Joey Barton has apologised for the reprehensible behaviour at Manchester City on Sunday which could land him a nine-match ban.
However, Barton also pointed the finger at Carlos Tevez for sparking the melee and claimed his conduct before he left the field was a response to a team-mate suggesting he should try to get one of the City players sent off as well.
Barton will serve a four-match ban for the red card he picked up for elbowing Tevez during the second half of his side's 3-2 defeat at the Etihad Stadium.
However, he seems certain to face additional sanctions for his subsequent attacks on match-winner Sergio Aguero and Blues skipper Vincent Kompany, which with the add-ons for previous dismissals could see him start next season with a nine-match suspension.
"Can do nothing but apologise to the players and fans," Barton said at the start of a series of postings on Twitter. "Still don't think it is a sending off.
"Still not my proudest moment but who gives a ****. We are safe.
"The head was never gone at any stage. Once I'd been sent off, one of our players suggested I should try to take 1 of theirs with me. Never worked but god loves a trier.
"Think a few people are forgetting Tevez started the fracas by throwing a punch to the head."
The 29-year-old took to the social networking site again later in the evening to direct his ire towards Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer after being criticised by the former Newcastle striker on the BBC1 programme.
He posted: "Shearers still on my case... I know I f***** up Alan, thanks for stating the obvious.
"Whilst we're both stating the obvious about each other, can I just say for the record what a great player u were. Well better me...
"But I have a better hair (which is not hard), wear well better shirts on TV and have a personality (something u lack).
"PS My final point, ur a s*** pundit/manager...
"I really don't like that p****, in fact I honestly despise him... Goodnight."
Rangers boss Mark Hughes did not want the former City midfielder's conduct to overshadow a defiant rearguard action that looked set to hand the title to Manchester United, and ended only when it was known they were safe anyway due to Bolton's failure to beat Stoke.
"If we had pulled it off and won the game it would have been the greatest Premier League performance in history given the significance of the game and the attention focused on it," Hughes said.
"The one criticism is that when we understood we were safe just prior to their winning goal. Maybe we just switched off.
"I have never been involved in anything like that but Roberto Mancini would have to admit he has been lucky."