Fenerbahce defender Simon Kjaer has hit out at Manchester United forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic after the Swede grabbed him around the throat on Thursday night.
The pair clashed during their Europa League clash – which saw Fenerbahce come away 2-1 victors – but one of the key talking points emerged when Ibrahimovic appeared to grab the Dane around the throat.
The incident went unpunished by the referee at the time, but despite the fourth official witnessing it, he deemed that no further action was necessary.
That means the United star will not face any further sanctions for his actions.
Kjaer admits that he deliberately set out to mark the 35-year-old as tightly as possible, and though he was on the receiving end of a (albeit light) choking, he has stated his own belief that his opponent should not face any sort of retrospective ban.
The pair have come up against each other on several occasions in the past, having lined up on opposite sides in France, Italy and at international level.
Speaking with Swedish TV station Channel 9 (via The Guardian) Kjaer said: “I actually didn’t hear what he said but I do know that he wasn’t happy.
“But that’s the way I know him from the pitch. He is the kind of chest-puffing player, who is arrogant. That is his way of playing. My way of playing is to mark him as tightly as possible and to give him as little space as possible, because he is a good player.
It's part of the game
Kjaer remained calm when discussing the choking incident and seemed to shrug it off as a regular occurrence.
“It is a part of football and I don’t take it too seriously. It is not the first time I play against him and I know how he reacts. It is not a problem. It is, like I said, a part of the game.”
And those sentiments were echoed by Kjaer's manager at Fenerbahce Dick Adovcaat, who added: “That is part of football,” he said. “I don’t talk about individuals.”
Ibrahimovic was introduced as a first half substitute for midfielder Paul Pogba, who was forced off through injury, but struggled to impose himself on the game and was unable to help United come away from Istanbul empty handed.
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