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Manager believes Diaby sending off was correct decision

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew thought his side showed the spirit of lions in the second half as they came from four goals down to draw 4-4 with Arsenal.

The Gunners roared into a four goal lead inside 26 minutes, with goals from Theo Walcott, Johan Djourou and a brace from Robin van Persie looking to have secured a comfortable away win for Arsene Wenger's men.

Newcastle had other ideas though and after Abou Diaby was dismissed early in the second half, the home side rallied and after two penalties from Joey Barton and a goal from Leon Best, Cheick Tiote hit an absolute screamer to send St James' Park wild and complete a remarkable comeback.

"We went out there and played like lions," said Pardew.

"At half-time you have to make a call. What I said was that if you want to go out there and feel sorry for yourselves after losing at Fulham and losing a really good young player [Andy Carroll] then you're going to get embarrassed, but we more than made up for it in the second half."

Newcastle's first half performance was reminscent of their home form when they were relegated two years ago, and many fans feared the worst, but their second half comeback was nothing short of remarkable.

"That's what we've been about all year, even before I came here, we've shown character," added Pardew.

"Making a challenge and putting people under pressure. We did that and we got a goal, and that can change any game."

Arsene Wenger was furious with Joey Barton for his challenge that lead to Abou Diaby hitting out at the Newcastle man and getting a red card, a decision which completely changed the game.

Pardew completely disagrees with Wenger though, claiming that Diaby's sending off was deserved and Barton's tackle was fair.

"We forced the sending off. I've seen it and it was a sending off. Joey's [Barton] tackle was aggressive, but that's what you need in football, you need to show that it means something to you. Then we got the second goal and I felt that something was going on here," he said.

"It's one of the most remarkable games I've ever been involved in, and I'm even talking about Sunday morning games where I've seen some matches end 7-7!

"I'm looking forward to one day looking back at this game and it filling me with pride. The way the fans reacted, the way the players reacted, it was unbelievable."

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