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Marouane Fellaini accused of spitting at Pablo Zabaleta

When an elbow to the face just isn't enough ...

Laurence Griffiths

A concerned citizen has taken it upon himself to analyse footage of United's derby defeat and has uncovered what, in the curious blame-avoiding language of football coverage, is being widely described as "Marouane Fellaini appearing to spit at Pablo Zabaleta". Shortly after elbowing him in the face, and being booked for his trouble, this ...

Make your own minds up. Though if Fellaini has attempted to spit on City's rightback from there, and missed, then his close control is even worse than any of us suspected. It should be noted that we are very much at the stage of 'internet outrage'. The FA have yet to say anything on the matter, but going by the footage above referee Michael Oliver was entirely unsighted, so there wouldn't be anything preventing disciplinary action if judged to be warranted.

Should it come, we can perhaps spend a moment pondering the oddities of being suspended for the saliva rather than the elbow, given the relative seriousness of mild dampness as set against a broken face. In the meantime, prepare your spitting controversy bingo cards. "Worst thing you can do on a pitch." "To a fellow professional." "Lowest of the low." "I'd rather be punched in the face."

UPDATE: According to the BBC, the FA have "requested further footage". Apparently Youtube isn't good enough for some people. Spitting is typically a three-game suspension.