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Racist incident mars Manchester derby as United stuns City rivals

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07: Marcus Rashford of Manchester United scores his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Etihad Stadium on December 07, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

An incident of racist abuse by a supporter towards Manchester United players is thought to have occurred at the match with cross-town rivals Manchester City, according to a statement released by City.

The club said it was aware of a video, widely circulated on social media, which appeared to show racial gestures during the second half of the clash at City’s Etihad Stadium.

Officials from City are working with Greater Manchester Police to identify any individuals responsible. They are also investigating objects thrown onto the pitch, notably at United’s Brazilian midfielder Fred.

“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,” added the statement after United won the derby 2-1.

READ: FIFA and UEFA ‘may as well have stood in stands with racists,’ says ex-England star

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he was aware of the incident. “I’ve seen it on the video, it was Jesse [Lingard] and Fred and the chap must be ashamed of himself,” he told the BBC’s Match of the Day program.

“It’s unacceptable and I hope he will not be watching any football any more.”

United forward Marcus Rashford, who scored his team’s opener from the penalty spot after he was bundled over by Bernardo Silva, was part of the England squad when its black players were subjected to monkey chants and Nazi salutes during a Euro 2020 qualifier in Bulgaria in October.

“The fact it is still happening is not good enough,” he was quoted as saying by the BBC.

“We seem to be speaking about it an awful lot over last six to eight months. Even speaking about it now is not nice.

“The necessary departments need to do the right things to stop it in the game. It is a big negative in the sport and the country.”

Anti-racism body Kick It Out said: “We hope swift action is taken to identify the offenders.”

Anthony Martial gave United a two-goal lead with a smartly taken shot inside 30 minutes before Nicolas Otamendi pulled back a late consolation with a header from Riyad Mahrez’s corner for City.

City, which has won the last two Premier Leage titles, is third in the table, 14 points adrift of leader Liverpool. United is eight points further back in fifth.

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