Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal ha defended midfielder Marouane Fellaini, insisting that he did not spit at Sergio Aguero during the Red Devils' derby defeat against Manchester City on Sunday.
The flashpoint occurred when Fellaini appeared to foul Aguero in the area, although referee Michael Oliver waved away Manchester City's protests. The Belgian was seemingly irate with what he saw as a dive from his rival, and leaned in to admonish him as he lay on the ground.
Replays afterwards seemingly showed Fellaini spitting on a stricken Aguero - although afterwards Van Gaal was adamant that was not the case. "The TV has shown that he is shouting and sometimes when you shout there's a little bit of saliva (that comes out) with it,' the Manchester United boss said. 'I don't think that he's a spitting figure."
Fellaini has also hit out the claims, taking to Twitter to defend his actions.
The Belgian was involved in a similar incident in the derby game back in March. The FA will await the referee's report from Oliver before deciding whether to take further action against the Manchester United man, although that seems unlikely.
Fellaini cut a frustrated figure after the game having spurned two good chances to level things up after Aguero had opened the scoring. The game turned on Chris Smalling's sending off in the first half. The defender was first booked for impeding Joe Hart as he tried to clear the ball, then for carelessly bringing down James Milner.
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Van Gaal was less than impressed with his defender, having reiterated beforehand the importance of keeping eleven men on the field. "In a derby you have to be careful - the second yellow card is a stupid yellow card," he told BBC Sport.
"The sending-off is not one of those things. As a player you have to control your aggression. I didn't see the first yellow but with the second, you know you already have a yellow, so have to handle it differently. I said that to the players."
The defeat means that Manchester United are in the midst of their worst league start in 28 years. The Red Devils currently sit in 10th place, with 13 points from 10 games so far.
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