Tom Heaton says Zlatan Ibrahimovic nearly broke his arm with a vicious shot the goalkeeper acrobatically saved in Burnley’s 0-0 draw at Manchester United.
Former United player Heaton never made a senior appearance during his eight years at the club from 2002 to 2010.
But he showed the Old Trafford faithful what they missed out on with an inspired performance on Saturday, pulling off a string of saves to deny the dominant hosts, who had Ander Herrera dismissed and manager Jose Mourinho sent to the stands.
The pick of the one-cap England international’s saves featured a star jump and strong fist worthy of United goalkeeping great Peter Schmeichel.
Leaping off the ground and spreading himself wide in the second half, Heaton prevented Ibrahimovic from scoring with a fierce volley at the back post.
The stop appeared to have come at a cost, as the keeper received treatment in the aftermath of his eye-catching intervention.
And speaking afterwards, Heaton joked about the force of the Swedish veteran’s attempt.
“I knew I had two men behind me on the line so I thought I’d get out, close the space and spread,” he was quoted as saying by the BBC.
“Thankfully it has hit me but it nearly broke my arm!”
Burnley barely registered a presentable chance of their own in the game as they mounted a rearguard action that become increasingly desperate as the match wore on, but Heaton claimed the Clarets were satisfied to finish up with a hard-fought share of the spoils.
“We came with a gameplan, put in an incredible shift and hung in there,” he said.
“Much has been made about our away form but what a place to come and get our first point.”
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