Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Manchester United players are not exhausted

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“I don’t think the referee saw Tyrone Mings try and stamp on Zlatan’s head”. He was “like a rabbit in the headlights”, says former referee Keith Hackett in the Daily Telegraph, who describes it as “the worst refereeing performance in the Premier League this season, or even for some time”.

When asked about the possibility of retrospective action after the game at the weekend, Ibrahimovic had said: “I respect every decision”.

It was Smith’s handball that led to United’s penalty, but Boruc dived low to his right to deny Ibrahimovic’s spot-kick.

The duo were at the centre of a pair of high profile incidents during Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Bournemouth at Old Trafford.

Before the elbow incident, Mings had appeared to stamp on Ibrahimovic’s head as he jumped over him and Ibrahimovic’s elbow moments later seemed to be a form of retaliation.

If Ibrahimovic is found guilty, he faces a three-match ban. “I’m not a player who will talk afterwards or attack somebody”.

Friend was one of the party in Marbella last week for the three-day stag do of fellow ref Anthony Taylor – who is under pressure himself after wrongly awarding a penalty to Burnley as they lost 3-2 at Swansea on Saturday.

United have often struggled to see off teams at home this season and have been held to a number of frustrating draws in games which they have dominated.

Jose Mourinho and Wayne Rooney claimed Mings knew what he was doing.

Andrew Surman did see red, for a second bookable offence, in the aftermath. Starting behind Ibrahimovic, he missed a good header opportunity in the second minute when there was time to bring the ball down.

Tindall took on post-match media duties because Eddie Howe was suffering with illness, although the Bournemouth manager was well enough to stand on the touchline during the game.

The Cherries had conceded at least twice in each of their previous eight games and are hardly known for their defensive solidity.

Whereas the assumption amongst pundits and many observers is that both players deserved a red card for their respective antics, the reality of the situation was that neither were dismissed from the field.

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“That will definitely be one that the FA will look at, they’ll speak to the officials”.

Phil Neville

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