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TITLE RACE BACK ON – Chelsea have drawn level on points with Man Utd after their 2-1 victory over the champions. Click here for Premiership BestPrice odds.

Patrice Evra is alleged to have been racially abused prior to the violent confrontation between Manchester United’s players and a number of Chelsea ground staff after Saturday’s game at Stamford Bridge.

Manchester United players have insisted Chelsea staff provoked the post-match scuffle Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat of United.

Patrice Evra, John O’Shea, Gerard Pique, Carlos Tevez, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and Park Ji-sung were all present when the incident occurred.

Pictures have since shown Evra brawling with Chelsea groundsman Sam Bethell.

Bethell has been pictured aiming a punch at the United full-back but he has already insisted the incident is not as bad as it seemed.

“It was handbags really,” he said in The Sun. “It was not as bad as it appeared.

“I’ve been told not to say anything about what actually happened.”

However, United’s players have accused a member of Chelsea’s ground staff of provoking the melee.

“Patrice received a grave insult from a member of Chelsea’s staff,” Tevez told The Guardian.

“He demanded an explanation and, from that moment, these men just wanted to attack Patrice.

“Obviously it’s normal that we tried to defend our team-mate but within a few seconds all of the United players were surrounded by stewards.”

United defender Gerard Pique added: “Basically, this came about because of the provocation of somebody who works for Chelsea.

“Patrice wanted an explanation but these men were very aggressive. All we were doing was finishing our work-out after the game.

“Even now, I just do not understand the reaction of these people. I have seen the photos and, if the images are stored in the CCTV cameras then it will be impossible for them to say that the players were not provoked.”

The Football Association, and the two clubs, have already confirmed they will be studying video evidence of the incident before deciding whether any further action should be taken.

“We will obviously be asking Chelsea to let us see their CCTV footage of the incident,” said an FA spokesman.
“This will have nothing to do with the referee’s report.”

TITLE RACE BACK ON – Chelsea have drawn level on points with Man Utd after their 2-1 victory over the champions. Click here for Premiership BestPrice odds.

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