Monday, 5 December 2016

Ibrahimovic Denies Kicking On Coleman


Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has denied intentionally kicking Everton's Seamus Coleman.

Five minutes after the re-start, Ibrahimovic, who gave United the lead with a spectacular first-half effort, landed heavily on the Ireland defender before his leg made significant contact with Coleman's head.

The Donegal native was evidently in significant pain afterwards and was eventually replaced by Mason Holgate in the 67th minute.

Speaking to MUTV after what was his club's fourth draw in their previous five league encounters, the Swede claimed that he had not intended to kick the Irish skipper.

"They played hard. And I heard one of the commentators say I kicked someone in the head on purpose. It was a 50/50 duel. He pulled me down and I tried to avoid touching him."

Coleman later told Newstalk's Off the Ball that he is feeling no ill-effects from the incident, but that coming off when he did was the best course of action.

"I'm not one to come off. I don't know the ins and outs of the injury yet. It's feeling much better now, after the game. I couldn't stand up straight and I couldn't run really, so it was a case of using your head.

"There's no point being brave and not being fit to play to your full potential, especially against a team like that, because you could be at fault for a goal. Your bravery would end up being stupid."

The Toffees avoided consecutive losses thanks to Leighton Baines' penalty a minute from time, but the Merseyside outfit are in eighth place and without a top-flight win since October 29.

Coleman was unable to identify why, after such a positive start under Ronald Koeman, Everton have slumped so dramatically.

"It's one of them that you can't put your finger on. We know we've taken our foot off the gas which we shouldn't have. Performances haven't been great," he said.

Ireland midfielder James McCarthy was an unused substitute for Everton, and has made just five league appearances this season amid mounting speculation about a potential move in January.

Matters aren't much better for Jose Mourinho's side, as their inability to close out games again cost them vital points. Without a league victory since October 29, they are now nine points off the top four.



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