Scholes dismisses Wenger's accusations

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Paul Scholes has shrugged off Arsenal's complaints about Manchester United's tactics in the FA Cup semi-final at Villa Park on Saturday.

The Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, had claimed that Scholes and Roy Keane had crossed the boundary of acceptability during United's 1-0 win. He accused both of an over-physical approach and was particularly annoyed by Scholes' late lunge on Jose Antonio Reyes which earned the England midfielder a second-half booking.

Wenger said the challenge was so bad that Reyes would be out for three weeks, although the Spanish striker was subsequently deemed fit enough to play in the Champions' League defeat to Chelsea on Tuesday night. But Scholes remained unmoved by the comments and wondered what approach Wenger had expected of United in such a key game.

"There are always going to be tackles in big games like that," Scholes said. "We are not bothered about the stuff being said. The most important thing is that we won the game and we have a Cup final to look forward to."

Scholes' presence in the United line-up to play Millwall at the Millennium Stadium on 22 May will only be guaranteed by some political manoeuvring on his club's part. The FA disciplinary hearing into his "violent conduct" charge for his apparent attack on Dorivo in the Premiership match against Middlesbrough on 11 February is not due to be heard until the week commencing 19 April.

If the case goes against him, the 29-year-old would be facing a three-match ban which would probably rule him out of games against Liverpool, Blackburn and Chelsea. Under FA rules, he would have the possibility of an appeal, although this seems unlikely because if Scholes used the required 14 days before lodging his challenge, the potential suspension dates would then run into the Cup final weekend.

It is hardly a prospect Sir Alex Ferguson is likely to find too appealing, which suggests United would accept whatever verdict is finally handed down.

Meanwhile, Scholes is now concentrating his energies on an Easter programme which sees United travel to face Birmingham before they entertain relegation-threatened Leicester on Tuesday.

Even though United trail Arsenal by 12 points, Scholes has not yet given up hope of United retaining their title.

"The League is not done and dusted yet," he said. "We still have a small chance but we know we would have to win the rest of our games. Even if we don't win it, I feel we proved a few people wrong on Saturday."

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