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Fabregas: "I respect officials"

Cesc Fabregas has responded to David Moyes' claims that the Arsenal captain should have been sent off for his comments to referee Lee Mason - underlining he has "respect for all officlals".

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• Arsenal 2-1 Everton
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Fabregas is alleged to have verbally abused Mason at half time of Arsenal's 2-1 win over Everton at Emirates Stadium.

"There has been much talk about me saying things to the officials at half-time on Tuesday night," Fabregas told the club's official website. "All I can say is that I have respect for all match officials. Their job is a very difficult one and their decisions are final."

Fabregas, 23, failed to deny that he was involved in an altercation with Mason, which occured after Louis Saha had given Everton a 1-0 lead with a goal Arsenal disputed as being offside.

"Yes, I was upset at half-time," he said. "We were 1-0 down against a very good Everton side to a goal which we felt was offside. Of course I am going to be upset. Players from both sides were saying things as we came off the pitch, and this always happens in football.

"Clearly the officials feel that nothing serious happened, as I understand the referee has not included anything in his match report."

An angry Moyes said Fabregas should have been dismissed for his behaviour.

"I thought there were some really bad tackles. But Fabregas' comments to the officials when he was coming down the tunnel warranted a sending off," Moyes said.

"It was disgusting. I am not going to repeat what they were. They were disappointing comments from someone who is such a talented footballer.

"Yes, I think it was offside, the wrong decision, but it was not Everton who made the decision."


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