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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 October, 2004, 07:59 GMT 08:59 UK
Reyes hits out at Man Utd tactics

Jose Antonio Reyes
Arsenal's Jose Antonio Reyes has hit out at Manchester United's aggressive approach in Sunday's Premiership game.

The Spanish international described the defeat at Old Trafford as the "hardest match I have played in England".

"In all my sporting life I have never received so many kicks as in Manchester," revealed Reyes.

"The referee should have stopped the violence of the Manchester United players. I finished the game on the ground and covered in bruises."

Sunday's match was riddled with controversy.

Accusations of a tunnel bust-up after the match are ongoing, while Ruud van Nistelrooy was castigated for a heavy challenge on Ashley Cole and Wayne Rooney seemingly unfairly won his side a penalty.

"The referee made so many mistakes and didn't perform well," added Reyes.

It would be better if it was kept out of the public eye
The LMA's Frank Clark

"The penalty should not have been given - but now we all know what a good actor Wayne Rooney is in the penalty area.

"The result was unjust because Arsenal played the better football and United had a lot of good fortune.

"But it won't make any difference to us because the title is still in our own hands."

Despite the manner of the defeat, Reyes said his side, who are still top of the league, would bounce back in the return leg.

He said: "I already have a big desire to play the return match in London. We want to give back the defeat to them and by more goals."

Meanwhile, League Managers Association vice-chairman Frank Clark believes that the incidents in the tunnel after the match should not be made public.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson reportedly had soup thrown at him but Clark does not expect Ferguson to pursue the matter when he meets LMA chief executive John Barnwell.

Clark said: "It seemed to be a regrettable incident. John will speak to Sir Alex but I don't think anything will be made of it.

"It would be better if it was kept out of the public eye but it's impossible. There have always been incidents in tunnels but in the past nobody would see and it never came out."

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