Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Premier League

Marouane Fellaini claims 'Pablo Zabaleta bounced his jaw into my elbow'

Belgian midfielder involved in a nasty looking incident in Manchester derby

Marouane Fellaini has claimed that he did not purposefully elbow Pablo Zabaleta in Manchester United 3-0 defeat by Manchester City in the Manchester derby on Tuesday night, saying that Zabaleta "bounced his jaw" into him and the right-back was "unlucky" to make contact.

It was another night to forget for the £28m Belgian midfielder in a United shirt, and he was lucky to escape with a yellow card from referee Michael Oliver for the incident.

The 26-year-old, however, says that there was no malice meant in the challenge, despite it looking rather nasty.

"I certainly didn't do it on purpose," he said. "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."

United great Paul Scholes even admitted in the studio while doing punditry for the match that Fellaini had given Zabaleta "a proper bang".