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The numbers behind Arsenal's striker search


Alex Song banned for three matches

Arsenal have been dealt a further blow to the start of their season as midfielder Alex Song has been banned for three matches after admitting to a stamp on Newcastle's Joey Barton.

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Song did not appeal against the ban, after he was caught on camera intentionally treading on the back of Barton's ankle following a tussle between the two.

The referee did not see the incident and took no action on the pitch, but a statement on the FA website read: ''Arsenal's Alex Song will begin a three match suspension with immediate effect after he accepted a charge of violent conduct. Song was charged following in incident during Arsenal's fixture at Newcastle United on Saturday 13 August.''

Song will miss the Premier League games against Liverpool, Manchester United and Swansea, but is free to play in the second leg of Arsenal's UEFA Champions League play-off in Udinese.

Song's team-mate, new signing Gervinho, is also about to start a three-game ban for slapping Barton, while both clubs were also charged with failing to control their players and have until Thursday to respond.


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