Zlatan Ibrahimovic has denied allegations that he purposely kicked Seamus Coleman in the head during Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Everton on Sunday.
The Swede and Coleman had a tussle on the ball in the second half that led to the pair tumbling over each-other, with Ibrahimovic’s boot clipping the Irishman’s head in the process.
It was something of a full-speed collision, and Coleman was forced off soon after as a result.
The 35-year-old, speaking after the game, insisted that there was no malicious intent.
“It was a physical game. They played hard. I heard one of the commentators say I kicked someone in the head on purpose but it was a 50-50 duel and he pulled me down,” he said.
“Trust me, if I want to kick someone in the head, I know how to kick someone in the head and make him fall asleep. That is the only thing I have to say.”
Just remember: Zlatan is a black-belt in karate, so I suggest we put the ‘kicking’ talk to one side. I can just visualise a journalist murmuring about the Swede’s antics in an alleyway, only to be met with a fierce right foot to the temple. “That’s an intentional kick,” snarls Zlatan, leaving this poor journalist in an unconscious heap on the floor.
But in all seriousness, Ibrahimovic’s exchange with Coleman was not predicated by any crude intent. His body weight merely came down and, whilst awkwardly clambering over Coleman, his foot caught the right back on the top of the head. Michael Oliver, in a good position at the time, clearly knew this and didn’t punish the Swede.