posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 02:36 PM
Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira has accused England of "cheating" and persistent fouling in their attempts to win their Euro 2004 opener in Lisbon.
Vieira was annoyed by the aggression shown by several England players, presumably led by Paul Scholes and Wayne Rooney, during Sunday night's game.
Indeed, Chelsea midfielder Claude Makelele emerged from the Stadium of Light with his arm in a sling due to a collar-bone injury following a tackle
from substitute Emile Heskey.
France nevertheless still managed to complete a remarkable late comeback with two injury-time goals to win 2-1.
Vieira declared: "It was really tough.
"We couldn't break down their defensive shield. They fouled a lot and cheated.
"But we stayed calm and showed the strength of character we needed to win."