FA to investigate Old Trafford clashes

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The Independent Football

The FA today launched an investigation into clashes in Manchester United's heated 0-0 draw with Arsenal at Old Trafford.

Several Arsenal players pushed and taunted United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy after he missed a penalty in second-half injury time Sunday. Players from both teams clashed when the game ended.

There were reports Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira - who was sent off for a second yellow card after aiming, but missing, a kick at van Nistelrooy - had to be restrained from going after the Dutchman in the tunnel following the game.

"Following (Sunday's) Premiership fixture between Manchester United and Arsenal, the FA can confirm it has received the report from referee Steve Bennett, as well as video tapes of the match," the FA said on its Web site.

"As a result, the FA will now review the video tapes in detail, and as a matter of urgency. The FA have also requested further videos of the various incidents from different camera angles. The FA will be looking at various aspects of player behavior during the match, and in the scenes following the final whistle.

"The FA will make a further statement as soon as this process is complete."

Arsenal defender Martin Keown, whose foul led to the penalty, leapt and made contact with van Nistelrooy following the final whistle, while right-back Lauren appeared to shove him. United midfielders Cristiano Ronaldo and Ryan Giggs also had to be separated from Lauren and Arsenal defender Kolo Toure.

The scene was reminiscent of Arsenal's win against United in 1990. More than 20 players were involved in a brawl, and the FA docked United one point and the Gunners two in the fallout.

Vieira was the third Arsenal player to be dismissed against United. He kicked out at van Nistelrooy in the 80th minute, though television replays showed he didn't make contact.

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