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Ibrahimovic, Mings both plead innocence

Press Association logoPress Association 4/03/2017 By Liam Blackburn, Press Association Sport

Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic claimed Tyrone Mings jumped "into my elbow" and the Bournemouth defender denied deliberately stamping on the Swedish star's head during a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.

Ibrahimovic's penalty miss and United's inability to defeat a Cherries side that played 45 minutes with 10 men were overshadowed by incidents that resulted in no immediate punishment for either Ibrahimovic or Mings.

However the Football Association may apply retrospective action should referee Kevin Friend's match report include references to those moments.

Mings stood on Ibrahimovic moments before the 35-year-old's elbow struck the Bournemouth centre-back's head. The second incident prompted Andrew Surman to shove Ibrahimovic over, resulting in his dismissal, once referee Friend eventually realised he was brandishing a second yellow card at the Bournemouth midfielder.

Surman may not be the only player to serve a suspension following this, yet both Ibrahimovic - who saw Artur Boruc save his 71st-minute penalty - and Mings denied intending to hurt the other.

"Listen, what happens on the field stays on the field," Ibrahimovic told BBC Sport.

"I'm not someone who attacks someone off the field. You have the TV, you can see the images. I jump up and jump high and he (Mings) jumps into my elbow.

"It is not my intention to hurt someone. I didn't know about the stamping on the head, if it was him it was him."

Mings also sought to absolve himself of any blame.

Asked by Sky Sports if he purposely stamped, Mings said: "Not at all, I would never do that. That's not in my game. Hard and fair is how I like to tackle but off-the-ball stuff like that isn't in my game.

The result ended a run of six straight wins in all competitions for United and represented a seventh home Premier League draw, with Bournemouth joining Burnley, Stoke and Hull in taking something from Old Trafford.

"The reality is that we are losing too many points at home," Mourinho said.

Elsewhere on Saturday champions Leicester moved closer to Premier League survival with a 3-1 win over fellow strugglers Hull, their second win by that scoreline in as many matches under caretaker manager Craig Shakespeare.

Crystal Palace also moved out of the bottom three with a 2-0 win away to West Brom, while Southampton came from behind to beat Watford 4-3.

Middlesbrough were the big losers at the foot of the table as Swansea moved up to 16th following a 3-2 win over Burnley. Boro went down 2-0 to Stoke and are 18th, three points behind Palace.

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