Emre Can has defended Marouane Fellaini following an alleged elbow incident in Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Manchester United in the Europa League on Thursday.
Fellaini appeared to swing an elbow in Can’s face in the dying moments of the game at Anfield.
The incident was missed by referee Carlos Velasco Carballo but it was picked up by television cameras and Fellaini may yet be retrospectively punished by UEFA. However, Can played down the situation following the match.
“It was just a small fight. It was okay. It was not a boxing ring punch,” Can said.
“Fellaini is a fair sportsman. He touched my throat with his elbow but it is okay.”
It’s admirable of Can to shrug off the incident but it is hard to defend Fellaini for what looks like a blatant elbow; how he manages to avoid red cards so often is a mystery.
United may well be better off, anyway, if Fellaini does end up banned for the second leg at Old Trafford next week. The Belgian is extremely limited in his play and Ander Herrera might provide much more of an attacking presence alongside Morgan Schneiderlin.