8 infamous football fights – 15 years after Dyer vs Bowyer scrap

Fifteen years ago today, Newcastle teammates Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer stopped bringing the fight to Aston Villa and began trading blows with one another instead.

With their side three goals and a man down in the 80th minute at St James' Park, Newcastle manager Graeme Souness must have thought his day couldn’t get any worse.

How wrong the then-Toon boss was.

Dyer and Bowyer traded blows and had to be separated by teammates and opponents alike.

Both men were sent off, and Bowyer departed the field with his shirt visibly ripped.

To mark the occasion, we’ve picked out eight more incredible football fights…

Valencia vs Inter Milan

A mass brawl broke out at Mestalla after Valencia secured their place in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Carlos Marchena aimed a kick at Inter’s Nicolas Burdisso after the final whistle, sparking all-out carnage.

Argentina international Burdisso was left with a broken nose after being punched by David Navarro – handed a seven-month ban by FIFA – who had run on the field before running off down the tunnel.

Inter boss Roberto Mancini dubbed Navarro "a coward" for his act.

"There's nothing else you can say about someone who throws a punch like that and runs away."

Diego Maradona vs Athletic Bilbao

Having been on the receiving end of some rough treatment throughout the 1984 Copa del Rey final, Barcelona ’s Maradona took the law into his own hands after it.

Flying kicks seemed to be the other of the day, with Miguel Sola and Andoni Goikoetxea at the forefront for Athletic.

David Batty vs Graeme Le Saux

The most farcical moment of Blackburn’s dire Champions League campaign in 1995/96 saw Batty and Le Saux come to blows against Spartak Moscow.

Le Saux aimed a punch at his midfield team-mate after being scolded for giving away a throw-in.

Oleg Romantsev, the Spartak coach, said: "Before the match I told my players they will be playing against 11 guys ready to fight for each other for 90 minutes – not with each other."

Chile vs Italy

The Battle of Santiago.

Labelled “stupid, appalling, disgusting and disgraceful” by BBC commentator David Coleman, it required four interventions from Chilean police.

Two players were sent off and numerous punches were thrown in an astonishing exhibition of violence.

Joey Barton vs Manchester City

After being red-carded for elbowing Carlos Tevez, Barton desperately tried to bring a City player or two with him.

The QPR midfielder proceeded to knee Sergio Aguero in the leg and attempt to land a headbutt on Vincent Kompany before disappearing down the tunnel.

Immediately after the match, while City were celebrating winning their first Premier League title, Barton took to social media: "People are forgetting Tevez started the fracas by throwing a punch to the head.

"Can do nothing but apologise to the players and the fans. Still don't think its a sending off.

"The head was never gone at any stage, once I'd been sent off, one of our players suggested I should try to take one of theirs with me.

"It never worked but god loves a trier."

Manchester United vs Arsenal

Martin Keown’s goading of Ruud van Nistelrooy had nothing on this.

Both clubs were deducted points after a 21-man melee that, remarkably, resulted in yellow cards for only Anders Limpar and Nigel Winterburn.

Both sides fined players privately, with Arsenal fining five first-team players, as well as boss George Graham, docked £9,000.

"The name of Arsenal has been sullied and that is why I have taken this action," declared chairman Peter Hill-Wood.

Delio Rossi vs Adem Ljajic

Man-management rule No.1: don’t hit your own players.

Rossi decided to ignore such advice while in charge of Fiorentina, leaping into the dugout to strike Ljajic after the midfielder sarcastically applauded his substitution.

Rossi was sacked after the match.

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