ALEX MCLEISH HAS branded as ‘dangerous’ the contact made by Robin Van Persie on Carlos Cuellar.
The incident between the two happened in the 64th minute, shortly after the Dutchman had converted his second penalty of the day to give Arsenal a winning 3-2 lead.
With a high ball arriving from Lukasz Fabianski, Van Persie and Cuellar jostled inside the centre circle and the Arsenal skipper appeared to make contact with the Spaniard’s face, though Cuellar made little fuss.
“It was a clear elbow. Would I like the FA to look at it? Yes,” McLeish categorically told the post-match press briefing.
Villa had taken a surprising two goal lead into the half time break, but were pegged back and overtaken by their hosts within 20 minutes of the restart. Though Arsenal were awarded two penalties, the Scotman’s only argument with the referee was Van Persie’s stray arm. An action, he pointed out, which should be considered dangerous play.
“Look at my nose, it is a result of elbows all my career. It is something which is dangerous. But the referee did not seem to think there was anything in it. I never mentioned it to the referee. I saw it in real time.”
Should referee, Mike Jones, indicate that he saw the incident clearly and decided to award nothing then the Arsenal skipper will face no sanction. However, if Jones reviews the tape and suggests he should have dealt with it differently, then Van Persie could miss up to three of the Gunners’ forthcoming fixtures.
“I don’t like to point the finger at players,” concluded a clearly frustrated McLeish, “but it has happened to mine enough times.”