Everton full-back Seamus Coleman believes it would have been stupid rather than brave to try and play on after a clash with Zlatan Ibrahimovic left him struggling to stand straight.
The 28-year-old was off the pitch by the time Leighton Baines’ late penalty cancelled out Ibrahimovic’s first-half lob after coming off the worse for wear following the incident with United’s goalscorer.
The duo collapsed to the deck early in the second half after Coleman collided with the veteran Swede, who caught the Everton defender’s head with his boot after tangling on the deck.
Ibrahimovic denied it was deliberate, saying he could have made the Republic of Ireland international “fall asleep” if he had done it on purpose.
The collision did affect Coleman, though, leading to his substitution 67 minutes into a hard-fought 1-1 draw.
“I’m not one to come off,” the Everton defender said. “I don’t know the ins and outs of the injury yet. It’s feeling much better now, after the game.
“I couldn’t stand up straight and I couldn’t run really, so it was a cause of using your head.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic brags that he could "make anyone fall asleep" by kicking them in the head. Alright, big man https://t.co/MjhNsrO8hD
— Football365 (@F365) December 5, 2016
“There’s no point being brave and not being fit to play to your full potential, especially against a team like that, because you could be at fault for a goal.
“Your bravery would end up being stupid.”
Coleman has a few days to recuperate given Everton are not back in action until Saturday’s trip to Watford – a match they approach buoyed by a positive comeback rather than fretting about a run of one win in nine league matches.
“It’s one of those that you can’t put your finger on,” Coleman told Newstalk’s Off the Ball.
“We know we’ve taken our foot off the gas which we shouldn’t have. Performances haven’t been great.
“I thought today, we went back to basics, and tried to get it up to (Romelu Lukaku) early.
“That draw will give us confidence going into the Watford game.”