Manchester United footballer Chris Smalling believes there is no ill feeling between him and Lionel Messi after their collision during Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final first leg.
Smalling then caught Messi in the face with his trailing arm, as he bulldozed past the Argentine, causing the 31-year-old's nose to bleed profusely.
Messi saw out the full 90 minutes after receiving medical treatment in the first half of Barcelona's 1-0 victory over Manchester United in their Champions League quarter-final first leg midweek.
Smalling caught the Barcelona talisman in a thudding collision on the half-hour mark at Old Trafford and while Messi will get the chance to exact revenge in the return leg next Tuesday, Smalling has revealed that the pair met up after the first leg to ensure there were no hard feelings.
"Yeah we spoke after. I didn't realise at the time actually that I had caught him like that," Smalling told BBC Radio 5 live.
"But after the game we had a brief chat, shook hands and he said he knew it was an accident."
"We spoke afterwards. We had a brief chat and shook hands. He knew it was an accident." Smalling told.
Barca have only lost once at home all season – a 4-3 defeat to Real Betis in LaLiga in November, but Smalling says United can produce a comeback win at the Camp Nou.
"We know it can be done," added Smalling. "If we can carry on from the second-half performance when we were really on the front foot, brought intensity to the game and caused them a few problems, that's what we need to go there and do.
"We knew that we couldn't go completely gung-ho in that second half because there is another leg.
"We've got to make sure we go there with no regrets and leave everything there to give ourselves the best possible chance."
About the Author
Jeet Ghosh is a Football Journalist, living and working in Kolkata with 7 years of experience. He has also worked with Sportzwiki and India.com. Jeet is a sports lover but has special liking for football. He follows the football league’s around the world and is somewhat partial towards Real Madrid.