Zlatan Ibrahimovic elbow and Tyrone Mings stamp go unpunished during Manchester United 1-1 Bournemouth

Referee Kevin Friend failed to take action against either and also nearly forgot to send off Andrew Surman

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Kevin Friend was at the centre of a chaotic few minutes during Manchester United vs Bournemouth that saw Andrew Surman sent-off, Tyrone Mings stamp on Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s head and the striker respond with what appeared to be a deliberate elbow.

United had gone ahead through a Marcos Rojo opener as he tapped home a low cross from right-back Antonio Valencia, but Phil Jones conceded a penalty to allow Bournemouth back into the match as former United youngster Josh King rattled the ball high to David De Gea’s right to level the scores.

However, what followed that could only be described as chaotic.

Surman crashed into Luke Shaw in the 33rd minute - who was on the receiving end of more than just one physical tackle - to pick up a booking from referee Friend, but tempers would flare shortly before the break.

It stemmed from a collision between Wayne Rooney and his teammate, Ibrahimovic, that left the pair on the Old Trafford turf just outside the Bournemouth area. As he jumped over the stricken Swede, Mings landed on the United striker’s head, and whether deliberate or not, warranted a red card.

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Ibrahimovic was on the floor after a collision with Wayne Rooney (Sky Sports)
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Mings' left foot made contact with Ibrahimovic's head (Sky Sports)
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The stamp appeared to be deliberate (Sky Sports)
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But the incident went unnoticed by referee Kevin Friend (Sky Sports)

Replays showed that Mings made no attempt to try and avoid the stricken Ibrahimovic, raising serious questions about whether it was intentional or not.

Ibrahimovic, clearly angered by the incident, then leapt high in the box and aimed an elbow at Mings that was also worthy of a straight dismissal. With Mings left on the ground and Ibrahimovic still feeling the effects of the stamp, Friend had a big decision to make.

“We’ve just seen a UFC match,” commented Gary Neville on Sky Sports.

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Ibrahimovic had his revenge when he went up for a header (Sky Sports)
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The United striker's elbow made contact with Mings' head (Sky Sports)
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Friend appeared to see the elbow but only gave Ibrahimovic a talking to (Sky Sports)
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Both are likely to face further action (Sky Sports)

But instead of deal with the incident at hand, he booked Surman for pushing Ibrahimovic to the ground, appearing to forget that he was already on a yellow card. After giving Ibrahimovic a stern talking too, Friend walked back to the halfway line, and suddenly produced the red card to send Surman off the pitch.

United manager Jose Mourinho waited for Mings in the Old Trafford tunnel before the start oof the second half, and appeared to trade angry words with the Bournemouth defender.

Given that no cards were given out, both are likely to face further action by the Football Association after the match is reviewed.

The incident quickly triggered social media into a explosion of criticism, jokes and memes, with plenty of spoof accounts lining the pair up for a fight at UFC 209, which takes place in the early hours of Sunday morning, after taking inspiration from Neville's comments.

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