Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has played down the incident which left Lionel Messi bruised and bloodied on Wednesday.
Chris Smalling insists there is no ill feeling between him and Lionel Messi after their collision during Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg.
Messi was left bruised and bloodied in Barca’s 1-0 victory at Old Trafford after taking a blow to the face in a robust challenge from the United defender.
Smalling, though, says the two spoke after the game and assured there is no animosity.
“We spoke afterwards. We had a brief chat and shook hands,” Smalling told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Football Daily podcast.
“He knew it was an accident. I didn’t realise at the time that I’d actually caught him like that.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) April 11, 2019
“It’s nice when you can have that battle on the pitch and then there’s respect after the game because, ultimately, you are just trying to do your best.”
United travel to Barcelona on Tuesday for the second leg.