Swansea City 1 - 1 Manchester United

Match info: Premier League at The Liberty Stadium

Date: 23/12/2012 KO: 13:30 Ref: M Oliver Att: 20,650

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

Swansea

Michu 29

1
vs
1

Man Utd

Patrice Evra 16

FT (ht: 1-1)

  • Last Updated: December 23 2012, 18:43 GMT

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has demanded the Football Association take action against Ashley Williams after claiming the Swansea defender "could have killed" Robin van Persie during the 1-1 draw at the Liberty Stadium.

Ferguson wants Williams banned

Van Persie was struck in the back of the head from close range by a Williams clearance after being fouled by Nathan Dyer on the edge of the Swansea box in the 75th minute.

The Wales international did not appear to be trying to strike Van Persie, although the whistle had gone.

The Dutchman reacted angrily, sparking a melee which resulted in both players receiving a booking from referee Michael Oliver.

Ferguson launched a furious attack on Williams, accusing the centre-half of deliberately trying to hurt Van Persie, and suggested the striker could have suffered a broken neck.

"The Van Persie situation you can clearly see that he could have been killed," Ferguson said on Sky Sports News.

"The FA has got to look into it regardless that he has been given a yellow card. He should be banned for a long time because that was the most dangerous thing I've seen on a football field for many years.

"It was absolutely deliberate. The whistle has gone, the game has stopped and he has done that right in front of the referee, he could have killed the lad.

"It was a disgraceful act by the player, he should be banned for a long time."

He added to BBC Sport: "Robin van Persie is lucky to be alive. It was a disgraceful act from their player. He should be banned by the FA. Robin could have had a broken neck."

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup appeared bemused when informed of Ferguson's comments.

He said: "I did not see it at the time as there were a lot of players involved, but I saw it afterwards. I don't think he (Ferguson) meant literally killing him.

"Things happen in a game and I am sure Ashley and Van Persie shook hands at the final whistle and we move on.

"When your pulse is on 180 then you can say things during the game you don't mean but then afterwards it is back to normal."

Williams insisted he had not acted maliciously.

The Wales captain told Sky Sports: "I tried to clear the ball it hit him on the head. I was trying to clear the ball.

"He was obviously a bit angry about that. It was a much ado about nothing."

The controversy overshadowed an entertaining encounter as United missed the chance to move six points clear at the top of the table.

Patrice Evra had put the visitors in front by heading home a Van Persie corner in the 16th minute, but Michu tapped in his 13th league goal of the season after David De Gea had parried Jonathan De Guzman's shot.

Ferguson was also left disgruntled that Van Persie was not awarded a free-kick after being challenged by Chico Flores just moments before Swansea equalised, and the Scot was openly critical of Oliver's officiating.

"It was a foul on Van Persie, a clear foul," he said. "The referee had one of those days where we didn't get anything out of him.

"It was a shocking performance. I know he is a young referee but I was disappointed with that performance."

But Ferguson was not critical of his players, despite their failure to find a winner during a final half-hour where they put Swansea under incessant pressure.

He said: "We absolutely battered them. It was a great performance in the second half. It is unbelievable we didn't win the match.

"My only criticism is that the final ball at times let us down. "No criticism of the performance, it was very good."

Laudrup was also a content man after watching his side keep up their good record against the Premier League's big guns.

He said: "I am pleased with a good performance. They started a bit better than us, scored the goal and had five to 10-minute period where they could have scored a second which would have made it difficult.

"We equalised and I thought first half was an equal contest, in the second half it was a more open game.

"They had more of the ball and created more chances but I felt it could have gone either way.

"They had more chances but that is normal when playing a side who are top of the table.

"It is a great point for the club and the players. I heard last season there was too much respect shown for United, that was not the case today."


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