Arsenal striker Dennis Bergkamp hasc denied deliberately elbowing Lee Bowyer in the yesterday’s 3-1 victory over West Ham.

The Dutchman left Bowyer on the floor moments after apearing to catch the West Ham player with his elbow, before supplying the cross for Thierry Henry to put the Arsenal 2-1 in front.

Bergkamp said: ‘I was protecting the ball, and when I turned round there was contact with him – but I never knew he was there.

‘I didn’t intend to touch him. The referee was close enough to see that. I told Lee Bowyer it was just a big accidentand there was nothing I could do.’

Bergkamp, who has been punished before for use of the elbow, will bein the clear if the referee, on reviewing the incident, decides that he saw nothing wrong with the challenge.

But the incident infuriated West Ham manager Glenn Roeder. After the match, Roeder was so incensed he visited referee Riley to disucsss the incident.

‘I have been to see the referee twice this season and this was the second occasion. My gut feeling is that he knows he got this one wrong,’ he said

‘Bergkamp has clearly put his hand in Lee’s face and pushed him over.

‘The majority of people in the ground saw it – but the most important person didn’t and we’ve been punished.’