Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini has insisted his forearm smash on the face of Zabaleta was not on purpose as he only tried to protect the ball during Manchester City’s 2-0 derby win at Old Trafford .
The 26-year old who was lucky to still be on the pitch after the incident as the referee in charge, Michael Oliver only brandished a yellow card.
The Belgian international believed he did not hit Zabaleta intentionally and that the Argentine defender ran into his elbow.
Asked if he was lucky to only pick up a yellow card for the clash, Fellaini is quoted as saying in the Daily Mail: “I don’t know, but I certainly didn’t do it on purpose.
“I put my arm up to try and protect possession of the ball, and Zabaleta bounced (his jaw) against it. He was unlucky to make contact.
“The movement by me was not in an aggressive manner. It was a defensive move to protect the ball.”