Joey Barton‘s antics and on-the-pitch rivalries have been a bit more of a rarer sight since moving to the South of France and Marseille last year, but last night, we saw a return of his ways in an away game at PSG in the French Cup.
Barton, up against David Beckham‘s Paris Saint-Germain, taunted Zlatan Ibrahimovic with a jibe at his rather ‘big nose’.
The Swede who is Ligue 1‘s top goal scorer this season reacted calmly, but later went on to score his second of the match, as the Ligue 1 leaders continue their march towards a French double and possible triple, and they advanced to the last eight of the French cup.
Ibrahimovic is a black-belt in karate, but the two self-confident of players never went any further than a verbal exchange.
The game was a feisty encounter, and if anyone doubted David Beckham’s passion for the game in his latter years, it was proven otherwise, as he was booked for an unhappy reaction to a Jordan Ayew tackle. A foul on the 38-year old in the first half also triggered a mini-brawl.
In truth, the game and Marseille struggled to live up to the standards of Sunday night’s Ligue 1 match up between the two, and on this occasion PSG eased to a win.
It was the first start for Beckham and his first 90 minutes since the MLS Cup Final in November. Beckham played in his now more-preferred holding midfield role alongside Blaise Matuidi. PSG boss Carlo Ancelotti said post-match: “He made a very good performance…He made good passes as usual, he was well positioned on the pitch”
It has been a promising start for Beckham, especially given expectations that he would struggle on return to a higher level.