Summary: Steven Gerrard and Mohamed Sissoko are in the clear after the Football Association confirmed it will take no action against the Liverpool duo, despite controversial clashes during yesterday's Premiership match at Bolton.
Nolan was left with blood seeping from an ugly graze on his chest after Gerrard, competing for the ball and off balance, trod on him as the Bolton captain lay on the turf. Television replays suggested that the incident was nothing more than an accident, with Gerrard duly going unpunished by the referee Mark Clattenburg, but Sam Allardyce insisted that the visiting captain "had to be sent off".
"There were some serious incidents out there, Steven Gerrard stamping on Nolan and Sissoko stamping on El Hadji Diouf," said Allardyce. "They're plain and they're obvious, and Mark Clattenburg didn't deal with either in the correct manner. If he had seen the Gerrard incident, he had to be sent off. So did Sissoko. It's clear for me, but it's probably difficult for a referee in that split second. But it's nothing other than intentional. That's sad, but it should have been dealt with in the right way."
However, referee Clattenburg has confirmed in his match report that he saw both Gerrard's clash with Nolan and Sissoko's tackle on Diouf. Under Fifa rules, the FA cannot take retrospective action against players using video evidence if the match official witnessed the incident at the time. An FA spokesman said: "Referee Mark Clattenburg has confirmed to us that he saw both incidents during the game."
Gerrard, who today received support from Nolan, had pleaded his innocence prior to the FA's response. "It was a complete accident. Kevin fell into me and I could not avoid him and that was it," he said. "I am mates with Kevin Nolan. He is a good Scouser, so why would I ever try to deliberately hurt him? We spoke at the end of the match and I wished him all the best for the rest of the season, and the tackle wasn't even mentioned."