Ferguson: Van Persie 'could have been killed'

Story highlights

  • Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson believes Robin van Persie "could have been killed"
  • Dutch striker hit in head with ball while on the ground after Ashley Williams kicked ball away
  • Patrice Evra's goal canceled out by Michu's strike as United held 1-1 by Swansea
  • Chelsea crushes Aston Villa 8-0 to move into third position in English Premier League

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson was left raging after claiming Robin van Persie "could have been killed" following an altercation with Swansea's Ashley Williams.

Ferguson, whose side moved four points clear at the top of the English Premier League table following Sunday's 1-1 draw, accused Williams of deliberately kicking the ball at the striker's head while he lay on the ground.

Van Persie and Williams squared up to each other following the incident as both sets of players tried to break up the confrontation.

Blog: Has Ferguson gone too far?

Referee Michael Oliver booked both men, but Ferguson wants the Football Association to take action against the Wales defender.

"The Van Persie situation you can clearly see that he could have been killed," Ferguson said on Sky Sports News.

"The FA has got to look into it regardless that he has been given a yellow card.

Read: Sculptor shows softer side of formidable Ferguson

"He should be banned for a long time because that was the most dangerous thing I've seen on a football field for many years.

"It was absolutely deliberate. The whistle has gone, the game has stopped and he has done that right in front of the referee -- he could have killed the lad.

"It was a disgraceful act by the player, he should banned for a long time."

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Williams was quick to play down the incident after the game.

"I tried to clear the ball it hit him on the head," he said. "I was trying to clear the ball.

"He was obviously a bit angry about that. It was much ado about nothing."

Patrice Evra's 16th-minute header from a Van Persie corner had given United the lead before Michu equalized with his 13th Premier League goal of the season -- which put the Spaniard one clear of Van Persie as the leading scorer.

Can revived Torres rescue Chelsea's season for Benitez?

Meanwhile, Chelsea went goal crazy by crushing Aston Villa 8-0 at Stamford Bridge to move up into third position.

Striker Fernando Torres headed the home side ahead after just three minutes -- his 14th in all competitions this season, and seventh in the league -- before converted midfielder David Luiz curled home an exquisite free-kick.

Defender Branislav Ivanovic headed a third before the break as Chelsea ran riot against a team that had been unbeaten for five matches following a poor start to the season.

Any thoughts of Rafa Benitez's men easing up after the interval were soon extinguished when veteran midfielder Frank Lampard grabbed a fourth.

That strike established him as the club's leading goalscorer in the top flight as he marked his 500th Premier League start with his 130th goal.

Benitez takes over Chelsea

Substitute Ramires added another two and both Eden Hazard and Oscar also got on the scoresheet.

It could have been worse for Villa, who were indebted to several impressive stops by U.S. keeper Brad Guzan, including a penalty save from Lucas Piazon.

"Everything (impressed me) the performance of the team," Benitez said.

"We have been talking before about the mentality of the team; attacking, creating chances we had good movement, we were good in defense. As a team we had the balance we are looking for."

The defeat was Villa's worst in the top flight in its entire history and left manager Paul Lambert's team three points off the relegation zone.

"We were second best. We have to hold our hands hold our hand up, we never turned up at this level we can't play like that," Lambert said.

"We always learn, it will certainly be a wake-up call. It's been going fine for us and it is only Chelsea and the two Manchester clubs that have turned us over. We will bounce back."

Meanwhile, Netherlands striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has signed a new two-year deal with Bundesliga side Schalke.

The 29-year-old, whose contract was set to expire at the end of the season, will now remain in Germany until 2015.

"I have thought long and hard over this decision and I am very grateful that the bosses at Schalke gave me this time," he said on the club's official website.

In France, Marseille moved level on points with Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain and second-placed Lyon following a 1-0 win over Saint Etienne.

Andre Ayew scored the only goal of the game to put Marseille third in the table on 38 points but with an inferior goal difference at the halfway stage going into the winter break.

Elsewhere, Valenciennes moved up to sixth with a 2-1 win over Evian, while Toulouse earned a 2-0 victory over Sochaux.

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