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07th Dec 2019

Jesse Lingard and Fred subjected to shocking abuse as United beat City

Patrick McCarry


Manchester United inflicted another damaging defeat on rivals Manchester City and, in doing so, put themselves back in top four contention.

A night to celebrate for Manchester United but a night English football was blighted by with the idiotic and dangerous behaviour of some City supporters, in particular towards Jesse Lingard and Fred.

Goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial put United 2-0 up at half-time and left thousands of City fans fuming. They were aggrieved at a number of calls made by referee Anthony Taylor and the VAR team and the Etihad Stadium rang out to a chorus of boos as both sides marched off.

The second half saw United comfortably cope with most of what City threw at them and, when the defence was breached, David De Gea was on top form. The Spaniard made one finger-tip save from Rodri that looked, for all money, to be arrowing into the roof of the net.

As the half wore on, and Pep Guardiola’s side were still without a goal, some City fans let their frustrations boil over. One supporter was captured on camera making some questionable gestures in the direction of United midfielders Jesse Lingard and Fred.

As if that was not bad enough – and it was woeful – then other City fans proceeded to pelt objects at Fred as he prepared to take a corner kick.

With match stewards struggling to maintain order, Fred was hit on the back of the neck by an object. There was a temporary hold-up but Taylor kept the game going and the Brazilian headed back over to that same corner to take the kick.

City did get back into the game with a Nicolas Otamendi header but United held on to win 2-1 and climb to fifth in the table, just five points off Chelsea, who lost to Everton in the early afternoon kick-off.

City remain third but have now fallen 14 points behind a Liverpool team that earlier beat Bournemouth 3-0.

The second half scenes prompted the following statement from the anti-racism group Kick It Out (below) and some sharp comments from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer:

City themselves released a statement not long after the game had finished. It reads:

‘Manchester City FC are aware of a video circulating on social media which appears to show a supporter making racial gestures during the second half of the match against Manchester United this evening.

‘Officials from the Club are working with Greater Manchester Police in order to help them identify any individuals concerned and assist with their enquiries.

‘We are also working with GMP regarding an instance of objects being thrown onto the field of play.

‘We operate a zero tolerance policy regarding discrimination of any kind, and anyone found guilty of racial abuse will be banned from the club for life.’

After all the recent, and fully justified condemnations of the boorish and racist behaviour of Bulgarian fans during a Euro 2020 Qualifier against England, this is another reminder that such actions have not yet disappeared from the English game.


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