Blackburn midfielder Morten Gamst Pedersen was astonished Mikel Arteta was not sent off after their clash on Saturday.

The 28-year-old Norway international appeared to be poked in the eye by the Spaniard in an angry exchange following a challenge during Rovers' 3-2 home defeat by Everton. Both men were booked by referee Andre Marriner, but Pedersen was surprised to be handed the same punishment as Arteta.

"If he got a yellow, I don't know why I got a yellow. I was just standing still," he told Blackburn Rovers TV. "If I should have a yellow, then maybe he should have something else. But that's up to the referee."

He added: "It's a challenge between me and Arteta and he got really angry.

"I was just standing still and he came into my face. It's okay people shouting at each other - that's part of football - but he can keep his hands away from my face.

"When he poked me in the eye, it's not like you have to throw yourself on the floor because you are going to show he has hit you.

"He poked me in the eye, but there is nothing I can do now."

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