Swansea City and Manchester United players scuffle after a
foul on Robin Van Persie (L) during their English Premier
League match at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea, South
Wales. REUTERS/Rebecca Naden
Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson said Robin Van
Persie was "lucky to be alive" after claiming the Dutchman was
blasted "deliberately" in the head with the ball from
point-blank range by Swansea's Ashley Williams.
Ferguson called for defender Williams to receive a long ban
following the second-half incident during their 1-1 Premier
League draw at the Liberty stadium.
Van Persie was on the ground after being fouled by Nathan
Dyer on the edge of the box when Williams hacked at a loose
ball which cannoned into the striker's head from less than a
The striker reacted angrily, prompting a short melee with
pushing and shoving from opposing players before Van Persie
and Williams were both booked.
"Robin van Persie is lucky to be alive. It was a disgraceful
act from their player today and he should be banned by the
FA. Robin could have had a broken neck," a seething Ferguson
told Sky Sports.
"He could have been killed. I think the FA has got to look
into it - irrespective of him getting a yellow card, he
should be banned for a long time, because that was one of the
most dangerous things I have seen on a football pitch in a
long time. Absolutely deliberate.
"The whistle had gone, the game stopped and he has done that
right in front of the referee. He could really have killed
Williams played down the incident, saying it was an accident.
"I just cleared the ball with frustration and unfortunately
it hit him in the head and he got a bit angry about it," he
said. Everything got a bit heated but it was all right in the