GRETAR Steinsson was thanking his lucky stars after escaping serious injury when he was on the receiving end of Abou Diaby's red-card challenge at the Reebok on Saturday.

The Arsenal midfielder was sent off on the half-hour mark after sending Steinsson flying with an over-the-top tackle.

The Icelander took the full force of Diaby's reckless lunge on his left ankle, but was able to continue after a short spell of treatment.

Referee Chris Foy had no hesitation in sending the player off and Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, who saw his own midfielder Eduardo suffer horrific injuries when he was the victim of a similar challenge from Birmingham's Martin Taylor last month, had no complaints.

Steinsson refused to say whether he felt Diaby deserved to be sent off, but admitted: "I had a little bit of luck there.

"It was a foul, but it's up to the referee to give cards and, if he decides it's a red, that's it."

Whites boss Gary Megson, who saw Gary Cahill caught in similar fashion by a tackle from Wigan midfielder Jason Koumas a fortnight ago, said Diaby deserved to go.

"The referee got it right," he said: "These kind of challenges were probably acceptable a few years ago, but not now.

"There was no malice but he's gone diving in and was a little bit late."