Manchester United star Ander Herrera has denied spitting intentionally on the Manchester City crest as he left the field at half-time during Saturday’s derby.
Footage showed the Spanish midfielder spitting on the badge, which is located on the turf just outside the player tunnel at the Etihad Stadium.
City believe Herrera spat on the badge on purpose, something refuted by the United player.
A United spokesperson said: ‘Ander has seen the footage of the incident and is mortified at any suggestion that his actions were deliberate.
‘It was entirely accidental and there was no intent whatsoever.’
City could still make a complaint to the Football Association, who would have to decide if Herrera spat on the City badge intentionally.
Herrera was walking from the field for the half-time break alone, with City players Raheem Sterling and Ilkay Gundogan a few yards ahead of him.
United trailed 2-0 at that point after goals from Vincent Kompany and Gundogan which had put City on course to secure the Premier League title.
However, United mounted a stirring second-half comeback and won the game 3-2 courtesy of two goals from Paul Pogba and a Chris Smalling winner.
It means City must now wait at least two weeks before they can secure the title.
Herrera revealed after the match that senior players Michael Carrick and Ashley Young rallied their United team-mate during the half-time interval.
It came after manager Jose Mourinho had urged his players not to end up looking ‘like clowns’ at City’s title celebrations.
Asked about who led United’s half-time rally, Herrera said: ‘Of course, the oldest guys with the most experience.
‘Ash and Mike were in the dressing room. They have the power in their words, but everyone was talking. We didn’t talk too much about tactics, just about our pride. Our pride on the pitch and that our fans were going to have a difficult night if we got beaten. We did it for them.
‘I was feeling sorry for them in the first half but this is Manchester United and no one should ever underestimate us. This is one of the best and most emotional games in my United career.’
8,122 total views, 24 views today