JONAS Gutierrez has hit out at Manchester United’s Robin van Persie after the striker caught Yohan Cabaye with his elbow.
The flashpoint came late in Newcastle United’s 3-0 defeat at St James’s Park yesterday.
Van Persie – who had rowed with several players during the game – appeared to aim his elbow at the midfielder, who reacted angrily.
The incident wasn’t seen by referee Howard Webb, and the 29-year-old, booked for a clumsy challenge on Davide Santon which led to a confrontation with Cheik Tiote, could be hit with a three-game ban for violent conduct.
Van Persie was involved in angry exchanges with his Dutch countryman Tim Krul in last season’s defeat at the Emirates Stadium after his then-club Arsenal scored a late winner.
The Holland international’s graceless celebration, and taunting of Krul, hasn’t been forgotten in Newcastle’s dressing room.
And Gutierrez – who captained Alan Pardew’s side in the absence through injury of Fabricio Coloccini – didn’t see the incident, which was witnessed by furious assistant manager John Carver, who pointed it out to fourth official Kevin Friend.
“I didn’t see it, but I hope he didn’t do it with bad intentions,” Gutierrez told the Gazette.
“We knew what happened last year with him. It wasn’t a good way to celebrate. But that’s passed, and I hope he didn’t do it with bad intentions.”
Pardew called on the Football Association to examine the incident.
“Van Persie has looked at Yohan, and he has elbowed him,” he said. “I think that needs to be looked at.”
The game was all but decided by two set-pieces inside the first 15 minutes.
Jonny Evans and Patrice Evra netted from corners, and Tom Cleverley ended hopes of a comeback with cross-cum-shot in the second half.
Newcastle now have a fortnight to stew on the result – and performance – before the Wear-Tyne derby on October 21.
“It was too much, 3-0,” said Gutierrez. “But when you start against a team like Man United like this, and concede two goals from set-pieces in 10 minutes, it’s going to be hard.
“It’s happened – we can’t do anything about this game. We have to focus on the next game and the mistakes today, and don’t do it in the future.
“In the second half Demba (Ba) hit the crossbar and (Papiss Demba) Cisse had a shot cleared.
“It was going to be so hard to come back. The luck wasn’t on our side. We have to now just think of the next game.
“It’s obvious we can’t start like that, and concede two goals against a team like Manchester United. It’s one of the biggest teams in Europe.”
The performance, however, won’t matter against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, only the result.
He added: “It’s done now, and we have to be ready for the next game. It’s a derby, and the fans and all the players just want to win.
“It doesn’t matter if you play well or not. What’s important’s the three points.”
Gutierrez thanked Newcastle’s fans for sticking with the players.
“I think that when the fans see the team is giving 100 per cent on the pitch, they are happy,” said the Argentina international. “This is football – you can draw, win or lose.
“They see that the players want to do it right and give 100 per cent. They aren’t happy if we lost, but they know the team tried to do its best.
“That’s more important. When you work hard, the good results will come.”
Meanwhile, the game’s other moment of controversy was the decision early in the second half not to award a goal to Papiss Demba Cisse.
The striker thought he had scored from close range after a Demba Ba effort, which hit the crossbar, dropped for him.
However, goalkeeper David De Gea clawed the ball away, and TV replays, while inconclusive, appeared to show the whole of the ball hadn’t crossed the line.
Pardew said: “At 2-0, we got a goal that you’re still saying ‘is it over?’ or ‘is it not over?’.
“I’ve looked at the video, and I’m still not sure, if I’m honest. I’ve looked at it 10 times.”
On Cleverley’s cross-cum-shot, Pardew added: “It’s definitely cross.
“I don’t know what the boy words it up as, but it’s definitely a cross.
“Those two incidents probably decided the fate of the game in the end.”