London - Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal attempted to play down the controversy following an apparent spitting exchange between his defender Jonny Evans and Newcastle United forward Papiss Cisse on Wednesday.
As it happened: Newcastle United vs Manchester United
The pair tussled during the first half of the Premier League game at St James' Park which the Manchester side won 1-0 and Evans appeared to spit towards Cisse as he lay on the ground before the Newcastle player got to his feet and returned the compliment.
"I didn't see it. I don't think Jonny Evans is a spitter," Van Gaal told the BT Sport.
"Maybe spitting on the floor but we are on the bench and you cannot see from there."
Newcastle manager John Carver was also unaware of the incident.
"I haven't seen it," he said.