Manchester United defender Jonny Evans faces punishment from the FA after he appeared to spit at Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse last night.
Video evidence also suggests that the Senegalese ace retaliated by spitting back and could also be in hot water.
The incident occurred in the first half of Manchester United's 1-0 win over the Magpies last night, with Ashley Young's fortunate late strike sealing all three points - however it was the bust up between Evans and Cisse that garnered the most attention.
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Evans appeared to initiate the contact with Cisse and video replays seemingly show him leaning over his rival and spitting after a coming together a few minutes before half-time. The Newcastle man then gets to his feet and spits back in retribution. The incident wasn't seen by referee Anthony Taylor and that means both players could be facing a ban if the FA review the footage and decide both should be charged.
Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal said after the game that he hadn't seen what happened, but insisted that spitting wasn't in Evans' character.
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"It is too far from the bench to see someone spitting," he said. "I can't judge it but I can't imagine Jonny Evans - because he is a very modest person - would do that."
Newcastle boss John Carver added: "I haven't seen the incident. I just saw a fracas on the halfway line between the two players. As far as I'm concerned I need to have a look at it."
Manchester United were extremely fortunate to walk away from St. James' Park with the win after another insipid performance. The game appeared to be drifting towards a 0-0 draw when Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul inexplicably passed straight to Young inside the box and the England International didn't need to be asked twice before firing his finish into the net.
That could prove to be a key goal in Manchester United's season with each one of their rivals in the race for a top four finish picking up maximum points. Just six points separate the Red Devils in fourth from Tottenham, who have a game in hand, in 7th place. The two teams meet later this month.
Video evidence of the incident looks damning, but is far from conclusive. The FA have a difficult job to do in order to discern what really happened last night.
However if it is proved that the pair did indeed spit at each other then both should be handed lengthy bans. This is meant to the beautiful game and there just isn't any place for this sort of thing. It's all well and good saying it's not in Evans' character but that's just not good enough.
Do you think Evans and Cisse really spat at each other?
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