Manchester United’s Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic (C) clashes in the air with Bournemouth’s English defender Tyrone Mings (L) during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Bournemouth at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on March 4, 2017.
Oli SCARFF / AFP
Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic escaped a red card despite appearing to intentionally elbow Bournemouth’s Tyrone Mings during Saturday’s Premier League game between the teams.
Ibrahimovic caught Mings with his elbow late in the first half, moments after the Bournemouth defender appeared to stamp on the Swede’s head with his left foot as he jumped over him.
The giant striker had previously been booked, presumably for dissent, after Bournemouth were awarded a penalty that Joshua King scored to make it 1-1, Marcos Rojo having earlier put United ahead at Old Trafford.
But despite referee Kevin Friend speaking at length to Ibrahimovic and United captain Wayne Rooney after the Mings incidents, the former Paris Saint-Germain striker was allowed to stay on the pitch.
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.