Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera has denied deliberately spitting on the Manchester City badge at half-time of Manchester United’s comeback at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
Herrera was captured on television footage spitting on the large badge on the floor at the entrance to the tunnel at the end of the first half.
United came from a 2-0 down to beat City 3-2 to delay City’s Premier League title celebrations.
The Football Association will not be investigating the incident.
It is understood City officials feel Herrera deliberately spat at the badge but will not be making a complaint to the FA.
Writing on social media on Monday, Herrera said: “I will always fight for my club’s badge, but I always respect every other club crest too.”
A United spokesperson said the Spaniard did not see the City crest as he was making his way off the pitch.
“Ander has seen footage of the incident and is mortified at any suggestion his actions were deliberate.
“It was entirely accidental and there was no intent whatsoever.”
Speaking about the half-time team talk, Herrera said: “[Saturday] was not about tactics. At half-time we just talked about the pride, about the club, this club you can never underestimate it.
“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, and of course for us and our position, but overall for them.
“It was an important game for our fans. I was feeling sorry for them because it was going to be a difficult day for all of them. But this is Manchester United and nobody should ever underestimate it.”Everyone was talking at half-time. Of course, the oldest guys with the most experience — Ashley [Young] and Michael [Carrick], who was also in the dressing room — they have power in their words, but everyone was talking.”