Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings has issued an apology to Reading striker Nelson Oliveira after the former accidentally stepped on the latter’s face during their Championship encounter on Saturday.
The incident, taking place just past the midway point of the second half in a goalless draw, saw Mings, making his debut after a loan switch from Bournemouth, put his boot into Oliveira’s head following through on a challenge.
The Portuguese forward was left bloodied with gruesome facial injuries, though the incident was initially missed by referee Geoff Eltringham
He received treatment at the Madejski Stadium before later being taken to hospital, where he is expected to undergo surgery.
Images were quick to flood social media of Oliveira’s wounds, with many condemning Mings for his approach to play.
— Adam Goodwin (@AdamGoodwin__) February 2, 2019
The former Ipswich Town man took to Twitter himself after the game to issue an apology following the incident, writing that he was “awfully sorry” and hoped that Oliveira would be “ok”.
— Tyrone Mings (@OfficialTM_3) February 2, 2019
Reading manager Jose Gomes admitted that he did not see Oliveira after the game in his post-match comments but expressed his bafflement at the fact that Mings escaped without punishment following the incident.
“I didn't see him after the game,” he told reporters. “I don't know. It was a very strange decision from the referee.
“It was his nose. I don't know if it was broken, we will let you know.”
Mings previously served a five-match ban in 2017 for a stamp on then-Manchester United man Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The two players were involved in an incident where the 25-year-old was deemed to have deliberately brought his boot down on the Swede, who responded with an elbow to the head. Ibrahimovic was banned for three games.
Despite signing for Bournemouth in 2015, Mings has seen most of his career since derailed by injury, after suffering a snapped cruciate and medial ligament damage in his Premier League debut for the club, ruling him out until early 2017.
He had only made seven appearances for Eddie Howe’s side this season so far, before his switch to Villa Park with the Cherries currently occupying a mid-table berth.