Vieira in stamp claim

PATRICK VIEIRA has accused Ruud van Nistelrooy of attempting to stamp on him in the incident which precipitated the Arsenal captain's dismissal at Old Trafford.

The Gunners skipper was sent off in the final ten minutes of a brutal showdown against the champions after stupidly reacting to a clumsy van Nistelrooy challenge.

Vieira had already been cautioned moments earlier by referee Steve Bennett but needlessly kicked out after the Dutch international landed on his back, although he failed to connect with his aggressor.

But Vieira claims van Nistelrooy tried to stamp on him and has followed up his own manager Arsene Wenger's attack by labelling the prolific forward a 'cheat'.

The French powerhouse has pointed the finger at van Nistelrooy as the man responsible for his red card, and not referee Bennett.

"I am really angry with Ruud van Nistelrooy, not with the referee," fumed Vieira.

"He made more of the challenge than he should have, and he cheated.

"He tried to stamp on me."

The incident proved the catalyst for the disgraceful scenes at the end of a fiercely contested encounter as four Arsenal players hounded van Nistelrooy.

Martin Keown appeared to be the protagonist and The Gunners are now sweating on a potential misconduct rap from The Football Association.

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