Harry Arter absolved Moussa Sissoko of any wrongdoing after the Tottenham midfielder appeared to elbow him during Saturday’s goalless draw with Bournemouth.
Sissoko’s flailing arm connected with Arter’s face soon after replacing Dele Alli in the 72nd minute as they jostled for a ball at a throw-in.
Despite the Republic of Ireland international’s protestations, referee Craig Pawson opted not to punish the former Newcastle United player, much to the frustration of the home crowd who felt he should have seen red.
After the match, though, Arter stressed that the incident was purely an accident.
“Sissoko said to me afterwards that he did catch me but that it was by accident,” he told Sky Sports.
“He doesn’t seem to be that sort of player, so I’m sure it was by accident and hopefully we can move on from it.”
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe echoed the thoughts of his midfielder, saying a red card would not have been deserved.
“I’m not ducking the issue,” he added. “I didn’t see it and I haven’t seen a replay yet.
“Judging by Harry’s reaction, he was obviously caught but knowing their players, I don’t think there would have been any intent.
“I don’t think at that stage of the game either team would have wanted a red card.”
The match saw Jack Wilshere complete his first 90 minutes since 2014, and the on-loan Arsenal midfielder is loving his time at the Vitality Stadium.
“I feel better and better each week,” he said. “The manager has been great to me; he’s brought me in slowly, giving me 70-75 minutes and he said to me that if I could play 90 today, that’d be good.
“I feel like I’m getting fitter each week and contributing more to the team each week.”
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