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Pantelidis in hot water after clash

Gold Coast problem child Steve Pantelidis is in danger of missing the club's first A-League finals foray after being involved in two incidents during Friday night's spiteful match against Melbourne at Skilled Park.

Even coach Miron Bleiberg conceded defender Pantelidis could "pay the price" after he was involved in an off-the-ball incident with Victory forward Robbie Kruse during the first half of a match United won 1-0.

The result put Gold Coast level with Melbourne on top of the ladder, though the Victory have a superior for-and-against record.

United's most-suspended player in their maiden season, Pantelidis faces investigation by the league's match review panel after TV cameras caught him seeming to strike Kruse in the back of the head during a scuffle.

Kruse left the field soon after with a shoulder injury.

That was not the end of Pantelidis' problems as he was later shown a yellow-card for a tackle on Marvin Angulo - one of seven yellows handed out by referee Chris Beath.

Pantelidis was substituted by Bleiberg at halftime.

"If Pantelidis makes a mistake he'll pay for it - the same as Kevin Muscat," Bleiberg said.

Muscat, ironically regarded as a tutor to Pantelidis in the latter's Melbourne days, could also be in hot water.

He was involved in a clash with United skipper Jason Culina in the first half that will certainly be reviewed in higher circles.

Muscat also received a yellow card after a foul on Joel Porter.

Melbourne coach Ernie Merrick declined to comment on the two behind-play incidents, claiming he saw neither.

But Bleiberg certainly did not miss the Pantelidis clash because it occurred almost directly in front of him.

"Both were ugly," Bleiberg of the clashes.

"If he (Pantelidis) pays the price, he pays the price.

"Obviously Melbourne targeted him - and fair enough because it's a good tactic.

"But why do we have to concentrate on Pantelidis?

"We won the game against Melbourne and we're equal top and we played some good football.

"In the last three weeks we've beaten Sydney and Melbourne and we have proved we deserve to be where we are."

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