Arsenal and Newcastle were charged by the English Football Association on Monday with failing to control their players in their ill-tempered Premier League opener.

Gervinho was sent off in the second half of his debut for slapping Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton, whose side protested an apparent dive by the Arsenal striker in the penalty area.

''Both clubs have been charged following a mass confrontation of players following an incident in which Arsenal's Gervinho was also shown a red card,'' the FA said in a statement.

The Gunners are appealing against Gervinho's dismissal for slapping Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton to avoid an automatic three-match ban which they claim is ''clearly excessive.''

But Arsenal midfielder Alex Song now faces the same ban after being charged with violent conduct for stamping on Barton in an incident missed by referee Peter Walton.

Song must reply to his charge by Tuesday afternoon, but Arsenal and Newcastle have until Thursday to respond to the club charges.