Friday, November 15, 2019

Messi knows collision was an accident – Smalling

SoccerNews in La Liga 12 Apr 2019

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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.

“[Luis] Suarez [came up to me] after the game as well. We had a good tussle and he just shook my hand afterwards and said, ‘Good luck.’

“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.

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