Tyrone Mings insists he didn't mean to stamp on Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Mings stamped on Ibrahimovic after being tackled by the Swede, who responded by elbowing the defender as the pair competed for a corner a few moments later

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The Bournemouth defender Tyrone Mings has claimed he “obviously did not mean” to stamp on Zlatan Ibrahimovic in response to Jamie Carragher, who on Saturday branded Mings "a disgrace" for appearing to do so.

Ten-man Bournemouth held Manchester United to a draw in a bad-tempered match at Old Trafford, after Josh King’s penalty cancelled out Marcos Rojo’s close-range opener. But the game was overshadowed by a spat between Mings and Ibrahimovic, which escalated shortly before half-time.

Mings stamped on Ibrahimovic after being tackled by the Swede, who responded by elbowing the defender as the pair competed for a corner a few moments later. Referee Kevin Friend elected against dismissing either player, instead showing Andrew Surman his second yellow card of the match in the melee that followed, for shoving Ibrahimovic. 

After the match, Carragher said Mings could have no excuse after the altercation. "The one from Mings is just horrific - he deserved a smack for that one," he said. "It's disgraceful, callous - stamping on someone when they're on the floor.”

But 23-year-old Mings insisted that the apparent stamp was accidental and suggested that slow-motion video replays had made the incident look worse than it was.

“It wasn’t intentional,” Mings commented after the draw, which keeps Bournemouth five points above the relegation zone. 

“If there is reaction, there is reaction after. They have time to slow it down and look at it from different angles. But when you are out there on the pitch you have to try and get back in and defend. 

“I obviously didn’t mean it, but if there is reaction there is reaction, everyone will have an opinion that is football.”

Both men are now facing the prospect of retrospective three-match bans for violent conduct, with the Football Association likely to review video evidence and bring charges this week.

Mings readily admitted to catching Ibrahimovic with his boot while the forward was down on the floor and added that he “thoroughly enjoyed” the repeated confrontations between the pair.

“I jumped over someone else I think and then yeah if I caught him, I caught him,” Mings said. “It’s a big jump if you are asking me to jump over two people.

“It was a good battle all afternoon and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I haven’t seen it back but you know exactly what you are going to get against him. He is a big physical player who possesses a lot of qualities. It was a good battle on the pitch all afternoon and if he says he didn’t mean it, then he didn’t mean it. That’s fine.

“Whatever league you are in, football is a physical sport. It comes with elements of the game that are physical, so I knew exactly what kind of game it would be playing up against him and I think we all stood up to the challenge as well.”

Bournemouth’s assistant manager Jason Tindall, speaking to the press after the match in the absence of the unwell Eddie Howe, defended Mings after the match and insisted stamping on an opponent was not in the player’s character. 

“Ty hasn’t got a nasty bone in his body,” Tindall said. “And I would not say he would intentionally do that to anybody. And I haven’t seen it throughout the time he’s been with us, even in training.”

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