Tyrone Mings "jumped into my elbow" was the defence Zlatan Ibrahimovic offered after the pair clashed in Manchester United's controversial 1-1 draw against Bournemouth at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Mings felled Wayne Rooney with a crude challenge shortly before half-time in the Premier League game at Old Trafford and Ibrahimovic duly fell over the prostrate pair.
The Bournemouth player then appeared to stamp down on the prone Swede's head, before Ibrahimovic struck Mings with a firm elbow as the ball was crossed into the visitors' box.
The incident prompted a melee that resulted in Bournemouth's Andrew Surman seeing red for a second yellow card, while Ibrahimovic went unpunished.
However, the former Paris Saint-Germain star claimed the incident was an accident and protested his innocence.
"With the elbow situation, I jumped to protect myself," he told MUTV. "I jumped very high and he [Mings] jumped into me. I think he jumped backwards and I jumped straight up and unfortunately he jumped into my elbow.
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"I went for the ball. It was nothing on purpose and I hope he's not injured."
United were forced to settle for a point against the struggling visitors after Marcos Rojo's 23rd-minute opener was cancelled out by Josh King's penalty just before half-time.