Joey Barton set to be punished for punch

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Newcastle United midfielder Joey Barton seems certain to face FA sanctions after appearing to punch Morten Gamst Pedersen in the stomach during the 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Blackburn Rovers.

The 28-year-old later gestured that he had only slapped the Norwegian, but that is unlikely to wash, with TV pictures giving a perfect view of Barton's indiscretion.

Magpies boss Chris Hughton refused to be drawn on the clash after the game, but he was left frustrated by his side failing to earn anything from the game.

He said:"Frustrated is probably the word that comes to mind because overall, was it a game we deserved to lose? I would say categorically no, it wasn't.

"Sam (Allardyce) came with a side that played five at the back, four in midfield and one up front to make life difficult for us.

"That being the case, you have got to be a good enough side in possession and you have got to create enough chances.

"The game hinged on not the opportunities that they created, it was more our own downfall – two errors that we made which they capitalised on."

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