LONDON: Arsenal striker Francis Jeffers, labelled a “comedian” by Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier after winning a late penalty in Sunday’s 1-1 draw, says he is an honest player and did not dive to win the spot kick.
Jeffers, on as a substitute in the Premier League game, fell in the area after minimal contact with Liverpool fullback Jan Arne Riise at Highbury. Thierry Henry scored from the spot to earn the champions a draw.
Houllier said the referee had been “conned by a comedian”, a verdict Jeffers vigorously contested on Monday.
“I am extremely disappointed by comments attributed to Mr Houllier. I’m an honest player and I certainly didn’t dive for the penalty yesterday,” Jeffers said in a statement on the Arsenal website.
“It was a great pass from Dennis (Bergkamp), I saw two defenders close me down, so I let the ball run past me. As I’ve turned and started to run, Riise grabbed me and also clipped my heel, it’s as simple as that, it was a penalty.
“The referee was quick to blow to award the penalty and the linesman was even quicker to put his flag up. I don’t have to defend myself.”
Arsenal are five points clear of Chelsea and Manchester United at the top of the Premier League. – Reuters