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Sunday, 16 February, 2003, 23:03 GMT
Robson in a red rage
Newcastle's Sir Bobby Robson (left) and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger watch the action at St James' Park
Robson and Wenger had different views of the red card
Newcastle manager Sir Bobby Robson was furious with the decision that led to French midfielder Laurent Robert seeing red at St James' Park.

Robert, having been booked only two minutes earlier, prevented Dennis Bergkamp from taking a quick free-kick and picked up a costly second yellow card.

But Robson insisted referee Neale Barry should have been more lenient.

He blasted: "It was an extremely harsh decision.

The greatest law in the game is the law of common sense and he lacked a bit of that in that incident

Newcastle manager Sir Bobby Robson
"There was not a player that Dennis Bergkamp could have given the ball to.

"It's spoiling behaviour and I just felt the ref could have handled it a bit differently.

"The greatest law in the game is the law of common sense and he lacked a bit of that in that incident."

Robson felt his side may have gone on to win the game without the dismissal, with Robert having cancelled out Thierry Henry's opener.

"We might have won it with 11," he said.

Robson added: "We've given a fantastic performance but they couldn't beat us with 10 players.

The sending-off didn't change the game much

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
"We're a good team and tactically we were spot-on.

"It was a marvellous game but the referee could have handled it a bit better."

"We're contending for the championship but we've lost that little chance now."

But Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger believed referee Barry had little option but to send Robert off.

Wenger said: "The referee had no choice because he already had one yellow card.

"And when you have free-kick against you, you must let team with the free-kick play the ball."

The Arsenal boss added: "The sending-off didn't change the game a lot.

"They defended well, they were very resilient.

"But overall we were consistent and I'm happy with the performance and the spirit we showed."

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