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‘I thought Batshuayi was going to fall on me’ – Maguire claims no intent after kicking out at Chelsea striker

The centre-back escaped punishment after he stuck his boot out and caught the Chelsea forward during the clash at Stamford Bridge

Manchester United defender Harry Maguire says he did not intend to hurt Michy Batshuayi after he collided with the Chelsea forward during Monday night’s Premier League match.

Maguire went tumbling over the touchline when Batshuayi challenged him to the ball and the Red Devils captain’s outstretched boot caught the Belgian attacker in the groin.

The incident was reviewed by VAR but the England international was not punished and he would go on to find the net as his side won 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.

And Maguire says he was not trying to hurt Batshuayi when he stuck his foot out but was merely trying to protect himself. 

“I know I caught him and I felt he was going to fall on me and my natural reaction was to straighten my leg to stop him,” he said to Sky Sports after the game.

“It wasn’t a kick out and there was no intent. I think it’s the right decision. I knew I’d caught him but that I had no intent to hurt him. It was just a natural reaction. I apologised to him and it was nice that the referee saw sense.”

The 26-year-old was happy with his side’s performance, which lifted them to seventh in the English top-flight.

“It was a solid performance. We knew we had to get the win to close the gap. It’s a big three points,” he added.

“This season we’ve been far too inconsistent. We’ve let ourselves down when the pressure has been on to break teams down. We’re not getting carried away and the pressure is on to get three points.”

Maguire found the net 66 minutes into the match when he rose to meet a Bruno Fernandes corner and headed past Willy Caballero from deep inside the Chelsea box.

It is the centre-back’s first Premier League goal since January 2019, when he was still at Leicester, and he felt it was a long time coming.

“It’s been a long time. I knew it was a matter of time before I scored one and hopefully there are many more to come,” he said.

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