Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger apologised for the challenge by captain Cesc Fabregas which led to Wolves defender Stephen Ward being carried off on a stretcher during the Gunners’ 2-0 win at Molineux last night.
Ward suffered a gashed leg in the mistimed touchline tackle by Fabregas during the closing stages of the second half.
The Spain midfielder escaped with a yellow card and then rubbed salt into Wolves’ wounds by setting up Marouane Chamakh’s second goal of the game in the closing seconds.
Fabregas also made a point of saying sorry to Ward after Arsenal bounced back from their shock home reversal by Newcastle.
Wenger said: “I think it was an accidental tackle. That’s what Cesc told me. He touched him (Ward), of course, but he wanted to play the ball.
“He went to the dressing room and apologised to the player and it is all right.
“I have not seen the tackle yet but I have just apologised to (Wolves manager) Mick McCarthy if the player is injured. I didn’t know exactly what had happened because the linesman was in my view.
“Fabregas said to me it was completely accidental but he still went to see the player to see how badly he was touched.
“It doesn’t mean if you go to see how the player is, that you feel guilty.”
McCarthy had no axe to grind with Fabregas even though his own side have been under the spotlight for similar challenges.
He said: “Fabregas has gone for the ball. It is one of those when two blokes are running at full tilt and you slide in and he has got a cut on his leg.
“Fabregas has been in to apologise and Wardy has accepted it like a man.
“I said to Arsene I’ve no problem with the tackle and I really appreciate the apology from you. Arsene apologised for the tackle.
“I wish everyone would stop whingeing about tackling and complaining and being desperate for me to say something like ’it was a bad tackle’. It wasn’t a bad tackle. I’ve no problem with it at all. It happens.
“What I can’t do with is everyone bitching at my players and my team when we tackle.
“Just stop whingeing and accept it. Fabregas has been in and Wardy has accepted it and isn’t it lovely?”
Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski atoned for his costly mistake against Newcastle with a superb save to deny Christophe Berra an equaliser seconds before Chamakh’s second goal.
Wenger said: “I think Fab did extremely well. He made a fantastic save in last minute.
“He was, of course, disappointed with the goal we conceded against Newcastle.
“Overall it’s good not only that he had a great game, because I know he he’s a great keeper, but also that he has the mental strength to respond quickly in a very positive way.”
McCarthy said: “I add that to the list of games where we played well and got nothing.
“We’ve got to score when we play as well as that.
“There was talk that Fabianski might not play because he was hopeless for the goal on Sunday and cost them the game but he was man of the match against us.”