24 Dec 2012

Van Persie lucky to be alive - Ferguson

7:27 am on 24 December 2012

Manchester United football manager Alex Ferguson says his striker Robin Van Persie is 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 Sunday's 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 metre away.

The striker reacted angrily, prompting a short melee with pushing and shoving from opposing players before Van Persie and Williams were both booked.

A seething Ferguson says Van Persie could have been killed and the FA has to look into it, because that was one of the most dangerous things he's seen on a football pitch in a long time and was absolutely deliberate.

Williams played down the incident, saying it was an accident and he just cleared the ball with frustration after a foul was given.

Chelsea have regained third place in the Premier League with an impressive 8-0 thrashing of struggling visitors Aston Villa. Villa stay 16th, three points from the relegation zone.

Swansea are 11th.