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Last Updated: Monday, 27 December, 2004, 09:24 GMT
Keegan defends Fowler celebration
Manchester City boss Kevin Keegan
Manchester City boss Kevin Keegan defended striker Robbie Fowler after his goal celebration in the 2-1 defeat against Everton on Boxing Day.

Fowler was booked after racing behind the goal and down the touchline, smacking his hand on his head.

But Keegan said: "If you don't enjoy scoring goals what is the point?"

Ex-Liverpool star Fowler will not face disciplinary action from City and it seems unlikely that the Football Association will hold an investigation.

Keegan added: "You can understand Robbie being delighted to have scored at Everton."

Fowler, 29, was fined by the Football Association in 1999 for taunting Everton fans after scoring against them while playing for Liverpool.

The sense of humour around these parts is usually very good
Kevin Keegan

His 42nd-minute equaliser on Sunday cancelled out Tim Cahill's opener before Marcus Bent secured the three points for high-flying Everton.

The home fans goaded Fowler for the rest of the game, which deteriorated into a bad-tempered affair and ended with Christian Negouai being red-carded for a lunge at Bent.

City boss Keegan admitted he had held a conversation with the local police about the Fowler incident but said they would not be taking any action.

He added: "The referee said he booked Robbie for leaving the pitch.

"The day you ask players to just turn round and walk back to the centre circle like they did 60 years ago are long gone.

"They would deserve to be booked for showing no emotion!

"Robbie is big enough and been around long enough to know that when he scores at Everton the home fans are not going to say 'well done Robbie, you are a great guy'.

"He never took his shirt off or anything like that, the booking was just for leaving the field of play.

"I have just had a conversation with the police and they have said they will not be taking any action.

"He is given stick, he scores and he gives it back. The sense of humour around these parts is usually very good. If you give it you have to take it."

However, Keegan was unhappy with the red card for Negouai.

He said: "The sending off was very harsh. If he looks at the incident in isolation you will see a very bad tackle on Sylvain Distin that should have been a free-kick.

"The ball broke and Christian was going for the ball. The other lad was going in the same way.

"He has made a wrong decision and I would not protect players when they are in the wrong.

"But if it had been Bent doing that to our lad, I do not think it would have been the same decision."




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