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Five Aside: Di Maria a skillful crosser

Five Aside 14 hours ago
Read
 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 12, 2009

Van Persie accuses Adebayor of "malicious stamp"

Robin Van Persie has accused former Arsenal team-mate Emmanuel Adebayor of deliberately attempting to injure him - and claimed the Manchester City striker came within centimetres of stamping on his eye.

Although neither manager said they saw the second-half incident when it happened during City's 4-2 win over the Gunners today, TV replays did not make pleasant viewing for Adebayor.

With Van Persie on the ground, Adebayor certainly appeared to make a lunging movement as he tried to regain his balance, with the Dutchman sustaining a cut to the side of his head that required treatment.

Referee Mark Clattenburg did not appear to get a clear view either given the fact he waved play on, only calling for treatment when Van Persie failed to get back to his feet.

It was anticipated the Football Association would act anyway but, if there was any doubt over their involvement, there is none now after Van Persie launched a bitter attack on the Togo forward.

"I am sad and disappointed by my former team-mate Emmanuel Adebayor's mindless and malicious stamp on me,'' said Van Persie. "He set out to hurt me and I feel lucky that I have not suffered a greater injury. The contact was only centimetres from my eye.

"I knew he was aiming for a collision because he changed the angle of his body to allow contact to be made. He moved backwards when his natural momentum would have taken him forward. I find that deeply disrespectful.''

Van Persie has shown a volatility himself in the past. However, given his statement came three hours after this afternoon's contest finished, his thoughts betray a deeper anger.

City manager Mark Hughes described Adebayor as "an emotional guy'' afterwards in relation to a separate incident, for which the striker has already apologised.

It seems Van Persie does not share the same opinion.

"We are both professional footballers and I know that the game is physical. I, too, have made hard and sometimes mis-timed challenges but never with the intention of hurting an opponent,'' he continued.

"I have not received an apology from him, there were no words exchanged afterwards. He had his own agenda today and that is bad for football. It's bad for the game we all love.

"He has shown a real lack of class today, to me and the fans. We do not hide from the disappointment of losing the match but I need to speak out about his behaviour.''

The FA are likely to take a dim view of the method Van Persie has chosen to air his feelings. But Adebayor seems certain to face some kind of sanction over the ugly incident.

He may have been called to account anyway, having raced the full length of the field to celebrate right in front of the Arsenal fans after scoring the decisive third goal this afternoon.

The £25m striker had been barracked throughout by the Gunners supporters, who accused Adebayor of showing a lack of loyalty during his last few months at the Emirates Stadium when a fall-out with Nicklas Bendtner escalated to such an extent the pair clashed on the field during a League Cup tie with Tottenham.

Even Adebayor admitted he was wrong to celebrate in such a manner and offered his apology immediately afterwards.

"To be honest, I'm very sorry for all this,'' he said. "Sometimes, the emotion takes over. That's what happened. I was very happy to score the goal. Before the game, people have been saying and writing things and the emotions took over. People who love me and know me know how I behave.''

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