Gabriel tackle could have broken my leg – Deeney

Mark Holmes
Troy Deeney: Says Gabriel could have broken his leg in challenge

Troy Deeney: Says Gabriel could have broken his leg in challenge

Troy Deeney says Arsenal defender Gabriel apologised to him after a tackle the Watford striker believes could easily have broken his leg.

Gabriel lunged with his studs showing in a first-half challenge with Deeney but escaped any punishment from referee Andre Marriner, though the Football Association could take retrospective action if a three-man panel unanimously agree the Brazilian should have been shown a straight red card.

Deeney said of the challenge: “I could have gone through him as well and I tried my best to keep the studs down, and [remain to] the letter of the law, but he come over the top.

“I don’t think he was intentionally going to do me but, fair play, he came and apologised.

“I was just a bit frustrated at the initial moment because they are the ones that can break legs.

“Thankfully I am a big lad and I rode the tackle. We are men at the end of the day. We shake hands and carry on until the next game. Crack on.”

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, however, saw little wrong with Gabriel’s challenge.

“It did not look to me that (Gabriel should have been sent off), ” Wenger said. “He won the ball, it looked to me Deeney as well (had both feet off the ground). Both players went for the ball, Gabriel got there first, that is how it looked.

“Maybe if both feet were off the ground, I will have to look at it again.”

Watford counterpart Quique Sanchez Flores agreed with Wenger, adding: “No, for me it is football, it is England. This is the kind of contact we see each week, it is nothing special.”