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Lionel Messi ‘knew it was an accident,’ says Chris Smalling

The two players clashed at Old Trafford in the Champions League

Manchester United v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final: First Leg Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Chris Smalling has been talking about the incident during Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Barcelona when he caught Lionel Messi in the face.

The challenge left the Barca captain covered in blood and needing treatment, but Smalling says he spoke to the GOAT after the match and he said he knew it was an accidental collision.

“Yeah we spoke after. I didn’t realise at the time actually that I had caught him like that,” he said.

“But after the game we had a brief chat, shook hands and he said he knew it was an accident.

‘[Luis] Suarez after as well, we had a good tussle and he just shook my hand after and said good luck and we just said good luck.

“So it’s nice when you can have that battle on the pitch and then obviously there’s full respect after the game because ultimately you’re just trying to do your best and enjoy the game.”

Source | BBC Radio 5 Live

There’s been no official update from Barcelona on Messi, but reports in Spain have claimed he’s suffered no lasting damage and is fit to face Huesca on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Barcelona will take on Manchester United again on Tuesday at the Camp Nou, leading 1-0 from the first leg and with the advantage in the tie.

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