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28.02.2007 Football News

ARSENAL PLAYERS ACCUSE DROGBA AND ESSIEN

By myghanafootball

Michael Essien and Didier Drogba have both been accused of hitting Arsenal players during the Carling Cup final's injury-time melee, with both Chelski players set to be suspended for three crucial matches during the title run-in.

The ever-sanctimonious Independent has published a detailed, frame-by-frame account of the brawl, and effectively dared the FA not to suspend Drogba and Essien for punching Cesc Fabregas and Denilson respectively.

'Neither incident was seen by the referee Howard Webb, but both should be spotted by the Football Association's football regulation unit as it studies tapes of the fracas,' the newspaper reports smugly.

'Broadcast material indicates that Essien cuffed Denilson on the face, and Drogba slapped the back of Cesc Fabregas' head. The FA also has access to film that was not broadcast on the day.

If the FA is prepared to follow the letter of the law, and risk the wrath of Chelsea and their lawyers, Drogba and Essien should be suspended for three games, the penalty for "violent conduct".'

The FA are braced for a hectic few days with Chelski and Arsenal already launching appeals over the dismissals of John Obi Mikel and Emmanuel Adebayor.

The Gunners claim that the striker was sent off in a case of mistaken identity.

However, although it is clear that Emmanuel Eboue rather than Adebayor struck Wayne Bridge, 'Adebayor is seen aggressively wading into the fracas, though it is not certain, on the evidence available to The Independent, that he struck anyone.' Even if he wins his appeal, Adebayor is likely to be punished for failing to leave the pitch.

Kolo Toure has accepted his dismissal and will be banned for three matches, starting with tonight's FA Cup replay at Blackburn.

If Mikel's red card is upheld then he will be ruled out for four matches following a previous dismissal this season for violent conduct.

Eboue is sure to be charged after footage was broadcast showing him striking Bridge.

The incident is arguably the most distasteful occurrence in the brawl with the obnoxious Eboue apparently slapping the Chelski full-back on the neck after he throws the ball away.

Bridge then appears to have second thoughts about elbowing the Ivorian, grabs his head, 'looks to his right, where an official is standing, stops, raises himself erect, clutches the crown of his head, opens his mouth as if screaming with pain, and falls dramatically to the ground.' Given the apparently limited force of Eboue's blow, it seems quite incredible - and embarrassing - that he then required lengthy treatment.

Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho are expected to be censured for failing to control their players while both clubs are bound to be charged for failing to control their players.

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