Manchester City's final match of the season against QPR was intense enough before Joey Barton once again reverted to his old criminality in the 55th minute. QPR equalized in the 48th minute to stun City fans just as they were starting to develop the smirks of champions. But then the QPR captain and Guardian art critic responded to Carlos Tevez hitting him by elbowing Tevez in the face to earn a red card with his club's Premier League survival on the line.
"Why do people always want to solve any conflict with a fight?" Barton, who was imprisoned for assault in 2008, wrote on Twitter back in December. "As a pacifist I find it incredible."
Well, in the ensuing scuffling, that mind-boggled pacifist went missing as Joey Barton kicked Kun Aguero in the back of the leg with malicious intent (see it here) before being escorted off the pitch.
Despite being down a man, QPR scored another shocking goal 11 minutes later to go ahead 2-1 and elicit tears from devastated Man City fans as they thought their first title in 44 years had been stolen away and handed back to Man United. In a final twist to prove they have some determination to go with their money, City scored twice in the five minutes of added time that resulted from Barton's aggro to win the match 3-2.
So City won the title, QPR avoided relegation by the slimmest of margins and Joey Barton made a lot of people who bought into his reformed act look silly. What a day.
UPDATE: Barton was quick to get back on Twitter after the match to offer his special brand of logic.
"Can do nothing but apologise to the players and the fans. Still don't think its a sending off. Tried to take 1 of their players with me....
"Still not my proudest moment but who gives a f*ck, we are safe..........and that is all that matters.
"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. #reallynotbother #wearesafe"
So, he assaulted Aguero to try and get the City players to attack him back in effort to "take 1 of their players with me." Clearly Joey has an impressive understanding of pacifism.
UPDATE II: The FA hit Joey Barton with two counts of violent conduct. Pacifist.