Ibrahi­movic’s el­bow and Mings’ stamp go un­pun­ished in ill-tem­pered draw

New Straits Times - - Sport - MANCH­ESTER

MANCH­ESTER United striker Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic de­nied de­lib­er­ately el­bow­ing Bournemouth’s Ty­rone Mings dur­ing yes­ter­day’s stormy 1-1 draw be­tween the teams.

“Lis­ten, what hap­pens on the field stays on the field. I’m not some­one who attacks some­one off the field,” Ibrahi­movic told the

BBC at Old Traf­ford.

“You have the TV, you can see the images. I jump up and jump high and he (Mings) jumps into my el­bow. It is not my in­ten­tion to hurt some­one.”

Mings ap­peared to stamp on Ibrahi­movic’s head with his left foot as he jumped over him late in the first half and the Swedish striker’s el­bow mo­ments later seemed to be a form of re­tal­i­a­tion.

But Ibrahi­movic said: “I didn’t know about the stamp­ing on the head. If it was him, it was him.”

Ibrahi­movic had pre­vi­ously been booked, but de­spite ref­eree Kevin Friend speak­ing at length to Ibrahi­movic and United cap­tain Wayne Rooney, the for­mer Paris Saint-Ger­main striker was al­lowed to stay on the pitch.

“I don’t think the ref­eree saw Ty­rone Mings try and stamp on Zla­tan’s head,” Rooney told Sky


“In football that’s wrong. Ev­ery­one likes go­ing into tack­les, but to try and stamp on a player’s head is wrong. There’s no place for it and I’m sure there will be punishment for it af­ter the game.”

Mings said he had not de­lib­er­ately stamped on Ibrahi­movic’s head, hav­ing es­caped punishment over the in­ci­dent.

“Not at all. I would never do that. That’s not in my game,” he said. “Hard and fair is how I like to tackle, but off-the-ball stuff like that isn’t part of my game.”

On Ibrahi­movic’s ap­par­ent re­tal­i­a­tion, Mings said: “There was maybe an el­bow when the ball came in af­ter. I didn’t see it, I felt it.”

United man­ager Jose Mour­inho re­fused to dis­cuss the al­ter­ca­tions be­tween Ibrahi­movic and Mings, but said of Mings: “He knows what he did.”

Ibrahi­movic later saw a penalty saved by Ar­tur Boruc as United missed out on a chance to move into the Cham­pi­ons League places.

If Friend writes in his match re­port that he did not see ei­ther of the in­ci­dents in­volv­ing Ibrahi­movic and Mings, the pair could face ret­ro­spec­tive dis­ci­plinary ac­tion from Eng­land’s Football As­so­ci­a­tion.

The stan­dard punishment for vi­o­lent con­duct in the Premier League is a three-game ban.

Ibrahi­movic, 35, is United’s top scorer with 26 goals and scored twice in their 3-2 League Cup fi­nal win over Southamp­ton last week­end.

Adding to the con­fu­sion, Bournemouth’s Andy Sur­man was sent off fol­low­ing a push on Ibrahi­movic, but only af­ter United left-back Luke Shaw re­minded Friend the mid­fielder had al­ready been booked.

Sur­man was booked for clat­ter­ing Shaw in the 33rd minute and was shown a sec­ond yel­low card for shov­ing Ibrahi­movic in the af­ter­math of his al­ter­ca­tion with Mings.

But Friend did not show him a red card un­til around two minutes later.

Mar­cos Rojo put United ahead in the 23rd minute, but Joshua King lev­elled from the spot five minutes be­fore half-time fol­low­ing a foul on Marc Pugh by Phil Jones.


Bournemouth’s Ty­rone Mings (left) and Manch­ester United’s Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic clash in the air at Old Traf­ford yes­ter­day.

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