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Swansea's Ashley Williams responds to Fergie 'kill' claim: 'If I tried to hit him I'd probably miss'

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: December 24, 2012

Robin van Persie after Ashley Williams’s clearance hit him in the head

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ASHLEY Williams insists he did not mean to fire the ball into Robin van Persie's head during Swansea City's 1-1 draw with Manchester United yesterday.

A furious Sir Alex Ferguson claimed United's Dutch striker "could have been killed" by the incident which occurred 14 minutes from time.

Williams blasted the ball after referee Michael Oliver awarded the visitors a free-kick for a foul by Nathan Dyer on van Persie.

It struck the former Arsenal man on the top of the head and he rushed to his feet to confront Swansea's skipper.

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A host of other players were involved in the melee that followed before both Williams and van Persie were booked.

"The van Persie situation, you can clearly see that he could have been killed," said Ferguson. "The FA has got to look into it regardless that he has been given a yellow card. He should be banned for a long time because that was the most dangerous thing I've seen on a football field for many years.

"It was absolutely deliberate. The whistle has gone, the game has stopped and he has done that right in front of the referee, he could have killed the lad.

"It was a disgraceful act by the player, he should banned for a long time."

Williams was adamant that he did not deliberately strike van Persie's head.

The centre-back said he was trying to clear the ball off the pitch.

Afterwards Williams attempted to apologise to van Persie, but was unable to do so and the players did not shake hands at the final whistle.

"I've cleared the ball and it hit him in the head," said Williams.

"I understand why he's angry. I tried to say sorry, but there wasn't much time.

"I was frustrated, but I was just trying to kick the ball away — not hit his head.

"I haven't spoken to him since the game and we didn't shake hands afterwards.

"I didn't see him, but I can understand why he's angry.

"If I tried to hit him I the head, I'd probably miss."

Williams insisted the incident had not taken the shine off a famous result for Swansea.

Michu's 29th-minute equaliser helped Michael Laudrup's side claim a deserved draw against their illustrious opponents.

"I didn't shoot to hit him square in the head, I've just tried to clear it," said Williams.

"I'm not thinking about it. It happens in the game, but I don't know why we're talking about it really."

Swans boss Michael Laudrup defended his captain. "A lot of players were there and I didn't see what happened. I don't think Sir Alex Ferguson would have meant kill literally," he said,

"I am sure Ashley and Robin van Persie will shake hands and move on."

And Williams found an unlikely ally in Wayne Rooney.

The United striker added: "I think it's one of those things. The whistle's gone, the defender's gone to clear and it's hit him in the head.

"I think probably the right decision from the referee."

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  • hywel79  |  December 24 2012, 9:09AM

    alex ferguson and rvp have made themselves look like right idiots with their reactions to this, its a bloody football to the back of the head, in a football match for gods sake !! then again maybe we should all join the pray for van persie campaign to have footballs banned from sport. they are afteral a lethal weapon

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