Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland ace Jonny Evans in spitting shame

By Steven Beacom

Manchester United defender Jonny Evans was at the centre of a spitting storm during Manchester United's vital 1-0 Premier League victory at Newcastle last night and is now facing calls to be banned for several matches.

Defender Evans and Newcastle striker Papisse Cisse were involved in an ugly first half confrontation when the Ulsterman appeared to spit in the direction of his opponent, who retaliated by spitting towards the Old Trafford ace.

Referee Anthony Taylor took no action, but the controversial moment overshadowed United's win, secured by Ashley Young's late goal, keeping Louis van Gaal's team in fourth place.

United, though, may have to do without Evans in crucial upcoming games against Arsenal. Spurs and Liverpool if the FA decide to take action.

BT pundit Robbie Savage labelled both players 'disgusting', insisting they should be banned, but Paul Scholes said his ex-United team-mate Evans spat at the ground, not Cisse.

Manchester United legend Scholes working for BT, who covered the game live, said: “Jonny Evans is not that type of lad. I really don’t think in a million years he would do this type of thing. I think he is spitting at the floor and Cisse retaliates and that is disgusting.”

Former Wales midfielder Savage, who started his career at United, saw things differently.

He said: “It’s disgusting from both players. Regarding Jonny Evans he spat in the direction of Cisse and Cisse’s reaction is bad and clearly spits back at him.

“Jonny Evans can spit elsewhere.

Why spit directly where Cisse was? There should be a three or four game ban for both players. Spitting is the lowest of

the low.”

Ex-England striker Michael Owen added: “I played with Jonny for three years at United and he is a really nice lad. It’s so

unlike him, but I can’t defend him. If you are going to spit, spit away from someone. It is easy to turn your head and spit. I’m not saying he has directed it in his face but he has tried to sort of spit at him and I think both players will get punished.”

United boss Louis van Gaal said: “I didn’t see it but I don’t think Jonny is a spitter. He’s not a guy who spits in the face.”

Last season Hull’s George Boyd, having been found guilty of spitting at Man City’s Joe Hart, was retrospectively banned for three games.

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