• Premier League

Zabaleta bounced against my elbow - Fellaini

ESPN staff
March 27, 2014
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Marouane Fellaini has insisted he was not fortunate to escape a red card in the Manchester derby and claimed that, rather than elbowing Pablo Zabaleta, the Argentinian "bounced" his jaw against him.

The Manchester United midfielder, whose side were beaten 3-0 by City on Tuesday, said the first-half collision was a complete accident.

Referee Michael Oliver showed Fellaini a yellow card but Manchester City defender Zabaleta said after the match that he believed both the Belgian and Danny Welbeck should have been sent off for fouls on him.

"I don't know," Fellaini told the Daily Mail, "but I certainly didn't do it on purpose.

"I put my arm up to try and protect possession of the ball, and Zabaleta bounced [his jaw] against it. He was unlucky to make contact.

"The movement by me was not in an aggressive manner. It was a defensive move to protect the ball."

Because Oliver saw the incident and booked Fellaini, the FA will not take retrospective action against him.

United manager David Moyes said he did not even think Fellaini had committed a foul at the time but that he had been informed it was more serious than he had realised.

"My first feeling is I'm surprised it is a free kick, but by what I am hearing people are saying it could have been worse," he said in his post-match press conference.

Fellaini, who joined from Everton for £27.5 million in September, has been sent off once for United in the 0-0 Champions League draw against Real Sociedad.

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