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29 February 2024

Arsenal’s Persie may face ban for elbow attack

Arsenal's Dutch striker Robin van Persie (R) looks on as Fulham's Swiss defender Philippe Senderos (2nd R) collides with his goalkeeper, Australian Mark Schwarzer (2nd L) during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Fulham at The Emirates Stadium in north London, England on November 26, 2011. (AFP)

By Staff

It’s was the kind of performance one does not ascribe to Arsenal. An amazing comeback… an elbow in the face… and a Theo Walcott goal! So what if it was a crazy fluke?!

Despite the win, Arsenal’s fragile state of mind was exposed by what looks like a nasty elbow by hero Robin van Persie of in the face of Carlos Cuellar of Aston Villa last night.

The Gunners skipper, who scored two penalties in his side's stunning second-half fightback, appeared to catch Cuellar but ref Mike Jones took no action.

Should the FA look at it and going by recent action, Van Persie could easily face a ban.

Villa coach Alex McLeish demanded FA action and was quoted as saying "I thought it was an elbow in the face, it was clear. But the referee didn't seem to see anything in that. If it was an elbow in the face, I would like it looked at by the FA.

Villa led 2-0 at half-time after strikes from Richard Dunne and Darren Bent before Van Persie's double and a lucky Theo Walcott effort turned the tide.

Gunners winger Walcott said: "This cup means a lot to us because obviously we haven't won anything in a long time.

"Robin was reflecting that in the dressing room at half-time. We want to win this trophy and we needed to show the fans that we're ready. The result shows we've got great character.

"It was absolutely fantastic. I enjoyed the second half especially because the team worked so hard.

The final scoreline will be flattering to Arsenal, especially given Walcott’s equalising goal which was a pure fluke.

Alan Hutton's goal-line clearance bounced back into the goal off the England star's body.

Walcott, who celebrated with a bizarre table-tennis routine, said: "Maybe I would like to get a few more like that, off my backside or whatever.

"It just shows the determination of not just me but everyone getting in there. We need a bit of luck and hopefully our luck's changed for now."