United win battle of Manchester marred by alleged racism


Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Manchester City are 14 points adrift of runaway leaders Premier League leaders Liverpool after a 2-1 derby defeat to Manchester United that was marred by alleged racist abuse aimed at United midfielder Fred and Jesse Lingard.

City issued a statement promising to take a “zero tolerance” approach to any supporters guilty of racism as Fred was also hit by objects thrown from the crowd as he took a corner.

On the field, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial scored the goals for the visitors, who survived a late onslaught after Nicolas Otamendi pulled a goal back to inflict a fourth league defeat of the season on Pep Guardiola’s men.

United remain eight points adrift of their neighbours, but move up to fifth and within five points of fourth-placed Chelsea to haul themselves back into contention for a return to the Champions League next season.

“It’s not nice to see that City are so much better than us, they are the best team in the world,” said United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. “But today we’ve come away with some dignity.”

City’s priority may also now be limited to securing a top-four finish with the gap to Liverpool growing by the week and a makeshift defence that has now failed to keep a clean sheet in nine games.

“I like how my team played. We conceded a bit more than usual on the counter-attack, but against United with the pace they have it is not possible to control it,” said Guardiola.

“Sometimes you don’t win, the others are better and you lose. The normal thing is not to win all the leagues.”

Guardiola also offered his support to City’s statement on the reported racist abuse. 

One City fan was seen to mimmick a monkey gesture towards Fred as he took a corner midway through the second half.

– ‘Educate him. It’s not City’s fault’ –

“The club operates a zero tolerance policy regarding discrimination of any kind, and anyone found guilty of racial abuse will be banned from the club for life,” said City.

Solskjaer said both players had been affected by the incident, but said the fan in question and not City should be punished.

“Why don’t we educate him instead? It’s not City’s fault, it’s his. Nothing to do with Man City as a football club,” said the Norwegian.

“He’s been caught on camera and he should never be allowed into a football ground again, it’s unacceptable.” 

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One Response

  1. Rick December 7, 2019

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