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Cox: Nervy Arsenal edge through

FA Cup
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Lampard supports Adebayor denial

Chelsea's Frank Lampard has responded to Arsene Wenger's plea to give his version of events during Sunday's Carling Cup final tussle with Arsenal by confirming he was not punched by Emmanuel Adebayor.

Adebayor was sent-off for his part in the scuffle and was suspended from Wednesday night's FA Cup exit at Blackburn after the FA rejected his appeal about his alleged part in Sunday's clashes.

The Gunners claim Adebayor was red-carded in a case of mistaken identity and information has surfaced that one of the linesmen informed the FA that he had seen the Togolese striker punch Lampard.

'I don't agree with the FA's compliance committee,' said Wenger. 'And I don't agree with the report of the linesman because, for me, he lies. Adebayor didn't punch anybody. So when the linesman says he punches someone, he lies.'

'I would like you to ask Lampard if he was punched. And I want him to say the truth. If it is 'yes', we will accept it. But we have watched it on microscope and, if you can see Adebayor punching Lampard, I would like you to show me.'

Lampard's agent, Steve Kutner, responded by saying: 'I've spoken to Frank and he told me that he wasn't punched.'

Adebayor was also charged by the disciplinary commission with reacting aggressively and failing to leave the field of play immediately after being sent off. His appeal against the initial red card was dismissed on Tuesday but the Togo striker has requested a personal hearing, which will take place next Tuesday.

The melee at the Millennium Stadium was sparked following a confrontation between Chelsea's Jon Obi Mikel and Arsenal's Kolo Toure, who were both also sent-off, with players and coaches from both sides becoming involved.

'I saw a lot of people getting angry and when I first got there it was to stop people and bring [the situation] down. It was a final and I did not want a lot of people to get involved,' protested Adebayor.

'When the referee showed me a red card I could not believe it.

'I remember straight away [Arsenal physio] Gary Lewin came to me to say, 'Come on Manu, let's go,' but I said, 'Just leave me to ask one question - why did he [the referee] give me a red card?'

'A lot of people thought I was going to hit him, but I was not.'

The brawl, which saw as many players dismissed in one minute as in the 46 previous finals altogether, completely overshadowed a pulsating contest, which also featured Chelsea skipper John Terry being stretchered off after being kicked in the head by Abou Diaby as the Blues prevailed 2-1.