Arteta apology to 'stupid' Pedersen

Blackburn Rovers 2 Everton 3

Mikel Arteta was determined to make an impact on his return from injury. And Morten Gamst Pedersen was not going to get in the way.

Arteta made an early return from a groin injury to inspire Everton to a last-gasp 3-2 win at Ewood Park on Saturday, starting the scoring by earning and converting a fourth-minute penalty. But he made an impact of a different kind when he squared up against Pedersen after a tackle later in the half. After wagging his finger, he angrily poked Pedersen in the cheek, then the eye. Arteta offered an apology – of sorts.

"I probably shouldn't have reacted like I did but there have been a few times – not just [Saturday] – when he's made bad tackles," Arteta said. "I don't mind it when they're fair or tough, I accept it with no problem. But with him it's different and he knows that – I told him after it today as well."

Because referee Andre Marriner cautioned both players, no retrospective action can be taken and Arteta knows he was lucky.

"But I made a mistake, I shouldn't have reacted and I apologise for it," Arteta said. "I probably got more upset because I was out for so long and don't want a stupid challenge like that injuring me again.

"I wasn't even touching the ball – he just trod on my ankle. It was stupid. If he did it because he wanted me to react then he got what he wanted, which I shouldn't have done, and I'm sorry for that."

Everton had drawn three games without Arteta, who manager David Moyes said played "on a different planet" against a Blackburn side that held Manchester United to a goalless draw the previous week. Moyes also admitted Everton's Europa League hopes would have been damaged had Arteta, returning from injury three weeks ahead of schedule, been banned.

"Yes and that's why I had a word with him," Moyes said. "It's something that you can't do but I think he was probably that frustrated with the number of times he's been kicked and he felt that he'd already had a couple of challenges he had to deal with."

Blackburn levelled in the 69th minute through Steven Nzonzi, who scored only his second goal of the season with a long-range curling shot.

Then the match was decided by substitutes. Seconds after coming on for defender Tony Hibbert, Ayegbeni Yakubu headed Everton ahead to 2-1 in the 78th. Blackburn replied again through a stunning volley from substitute Jason Roberts in the 81st before Tim Cahill won it for Everton in stoppage-time.

Blackburn Rovers (5-4-1): Robinson; Salgado, Nelsen, Jones, Givet, Nzonzi; Andrews (Hoilett, 71), Olsson (Di Santo, 90), Pedersen (Roberts, 64), Dunn; Kalinic. Substitutes not used: Brown (gk), Grella, Basturk, Chimbonda.

Everton (5-4-1): Howard; Hibbert (Yakubu, 78), Distin, Jagielka, Baines, Neville; Pienaar, Arteta, Cahill, Bilyaletdinov (Anichebe, 69); Saha (Yobo, 90). Substitutes not: Turner (gk), Senderos, Duffy, Wallace.

Referee: A Marriner (West Midlands).

Booked: Blackburn Rovers Pedersen, Andrews, Roberts; Everton Arteta, Distin.

Man of the match: Arteta.

Attendance: 27,022.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral