Cesc Fabregas avoids punishment over referee rant

Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas was today in the clear after the Football Association revealed referee Lee Mason made no special mention of the episode which left David Moyes raging at the Emirates Stadium.

Everton boss Moyes suggested Fabregas should have been red-carded for comments the Toffees boss claimed he made to match officials in the tunnel at half-time last night.

Home manager Arsene Wenger denied Fabregas had even spoken to the officials, stressing it was he and not the Spanish midfielder who had his say at the interval.

And the FA have confirmed they received no extraordinary incident report from referee Lee Mason of any confrontation involving Fabregas.

Fabregas has no doubt Arsenal's battling 2-1 victory over Everton proves they have the character needed to push Manchester United all the way in the race for the Barclays Premier League title.

The Gunners rallied after going behind to what looked an offside effort from Louis Saha to net twice in the space of five minutes during the second half.

Victory kept them five points behind Manchester United, who extended their unbeaten run this season to 24 league matches after a 3-1 win over Aston Villa at Old Trafford.

Wenger praised his team's new-found resilience as they chalked up a six successive win, achieved without 14-goal midfielder Samir Nasri who will be sidelined for three weeks with a hamstring injury and so miss the first leg of the Champions League clash against Barcelona.

And Fabregas is confident Arsenal have what it takes to last the distance.

"We were not up for it at the start against Everton and we were very sloppy. We know that we could have paid for it, but fortunately the team stepped up," Fabregas told Arsenal TV Online.

"We realised that if we kept playing like that, we would be going nowhere.

"It is a very inspiring comeback and maybe we needed something like that to lift us and see that even with injuries and suspensions, we can still have a really strong squad.

"Now we have three days to recover for what will be a big game on Saturday [at Newcastle]."

Front-runners United still have to play Chelsea twice, matches which could have a major say in the title race, but Fabregas maintains Arsenal are only focused on what they can achieve.

"We are just concentrating on ourselves, even if the other teams draw, lost or won, it does not matter," he said.

"The good thing is we are up there fighting for the championship because we really want to go for it."

Arsenal levelled through Andrey Arshavin's volley before Laurent Koscielny headed home what proved to be the winner from a corner.

The French centre-half, whose attempted clearance had led to Saha's controversial goal, believes only the Gunners can overhaul United.

"It looks like we are the last contenders - United are five points ahead of us and they are more points ahead of Chelsea, Manchester City and the others," said the summer signing from Lorient.

"Those teams can come back strong as well, but we look like we could challenge United.

"We have to keep focused on our games and not look too much at theirs.

"We have to keep winning and hopefully they will drop points at some point."

Koscielny, 25, explained: "We have to keep working together - that is the key because if we don't concede goals, we will always have an opportunity to score ourselves.

"Between now and the end of the season, it is going to be a big fight."

Arsenal will be hoping both midfielder Alex Song (leg) and Theo Walcott (ankle) recover from knocks picked up last night to be able to feature at St James' Park.

However, it appears goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski could be sidelined for the rest of the season, with reports in his native Poland suggesting the 26-year-old will need surgery on a shoulder problem.

Everton, meanwhile, will now regroup for the visit of Blackpool after what for them was only a second defeat since the end of November.

Midfielder Mikel Arteta feels Saha, 32, can continue on the goals trail to help Moyes' men climb up into the top half of the table.

"Louis is a world-class player. When he is in form like he is right now he is as good as anyone out there, and he showed that in the first half," Arteta said in the Liverpool Echo.

"We've got what we've got in terms of players, and we need to get through with that.

"Hopefully he can carry on scoring for us and putting us ahead in games.

"It was our mistakes that cost us. Not Arsenal being unbelievable. It was up to us and we cost ourselves the game."

News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
peopleAt the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
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.

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

Time to stop running

At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence