Good, Bad & Just Plain Ugly: Joey Barton registers an assist & an awful tackle in Marseille’s ‘friendly’ with FC Istres

“[Joey Barton will] have to be careful. This kind of behaviour is unacceptable in Ligue 1.” – FC Istres coach José Pasqualetti.

“It was a dangerous tackle but we were well aware of Joey Barton, don’t worry about that! By contrast, when Barton plays at the Velodrome with its raucous atmosphere, he will probably go crazy! They’ll be red cards all over the place!” – an unnamed FC Istres official.

“There is no such thing as a friendly game. Matches are always competitive… In fact, nothing happened!” – the sarcastic comments of Marseille manager Elie Baup.


Joey Barton may still be waiting on the sidelines to receive his Ligue 1 debut for Marseille as he serves his 12-match suspension picked up on the final day of last season’s Premier League, however the feisty, controversial Englishman did managed to get some minutes on the pitch on Tuesday in an OM training match.

Marseille drew 1-1 with Ligue 2 outfit FC Istres, however the so-called friendly match was anything but that as Barton reportedly committed an over-the-top tackle at the end of the game.

According to reports, Joey Barton committed a judo tackle on opponent Guy-Roland Niangbo in which the QPR loanee midfielder jumped on the back of his opponent and dragged him to the floor. Facing a difficult decision of how to deal with Barton’s bad tackle, the match referee reportedly tried to defuse the situation by simply calling time of the contest instead of dealing directly with Barton’s bad behaviour.

Sadly no footage of the Barton tackle exists (we only have the attached pictures) however footage of the friendly match has been circulated by Marseille’s official YouTube channel.

The highlights capture the other side of Barton’s performance as the midfielder teed up Loic Remy for OM’s only goal with a superb raking pass that travelled over 40-yards. Kevin Bru equalised for FC Istres with a penalty soon after.

Watch highlights of Marseille 1 – FC Istres 1 below (Joey Barton’s assist can be seen after 12 seconds).

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