MANCHESTER — Paul Pogba has avoided an additional suspension following his red card against Arsenal but will serve a three-game ban that rules him out of the Manchester derby.
The midfielder was dismissed in the 74th minute of Manchester United’s 3-1 win at the Emirates on Saturday after appearing to stamp on Hector Bellerin’s calf.
Sources have told ESPN FC that Pogba insists the incident was accidental and only happened because Bellerin pulled out of a 50-50 challenge and ended up in an unnatural position on the ground.
The 24-year-old will now sit out games against Manchester City, Bournemouth and West Brom, but is available for the Champions League clash with CSKA Moscow on Tuesday.
There was speculation Pogba could have his suspension increased after appearing to sarcastically clap referee Andre Marriner as he left the field.
But after receiving Marriner’s report on Monday morning, the Football Association have decided they will not pursue the matter further and United decided against appealing the suspension.
They would have had to prove Marriner made an obvious error for the FA to overturn the official’s original decision.
Rob is ESPN FC’s Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.