Rio Ferdinand Lacerated After Fan Strikes Manchester United Defender with a Coin

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistDecember 9, 2012

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09:  Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United is helped by team-mate Danny Welbeck (L) after being struck by an object during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium on December 9, 2012 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Manchester United's 3-2 victory over Manchester City was a fantastic match with a wildly dramatic finish, but the entirety of the contest was marred by the poor behavior of City's fans, with United defender Rio Ferdinand being struck in the face with a coin.

It was boorish behavior, and it left Ferdinand's face bloodied. 

UPDATE: Sunday, December 9 at 12:55 p.m. ET by Timothy Rapp

Manchester City formally apologized to Ferdinand (via the Manchester Evening News):

"We apologise to Rio," said a Manchester City spokesperson.

"We condemn the actions of the individual concerned. We are reviewing the CCTV with the police and our normal security.We will support the police with any investigation and hopefully identify the person as soon as possible."

As well, the FA plans to investigate the matter (via SunSport Now):

The FA will investigate the incident at the end of the Manchester derby when an object thrown from the crowd hit Rio Ferdinand. #mcfc #mufc

— SunSport Now (@SunSportNow) December 9, 2012

---End of Update---

 

Here's how this went down: In stoppage time, United earned a free kick just outside of City's box with the game tied at two apiece. Robin van Persie bent a free kick toward goal that was deflected, altering the shot's trajectory just enough to send it past a diving Joe Hart.

Van Persie and company headed toward the crowd to celebrate, and that's when the madness began.

Along with Ferdinand being struck by one of the many coins and other projectiles that were hurled onto the pitch, a City supporter ran onto the field. Thankfully, Hart stepped in front of the fan before he could reach a United player, and security stepped in.

Wayne Rooney also had projectiles hurled in his direction late in the game while he attempted a corner kick. It was not a flattering display by the City faithful, and without question this will not be the last we hear of this behavior.

To his credit, Ferdinand had a good sense of humor about the incident when he tweeted after the game

what a result,3points! Sweet! Whoever threw that coin,what a shot! Can't believe it was a copper 2p....could have at least been a £1 coin!

— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) December 9, 2012

It's a shame that fans have to behave in this manner. I understand the emotion that comes into play when the two Manchester sides play, especially given how important these head-to-head contests are for winning the league.

It was a heartbreaking way to lose a game, especially after City had rallied from a 2-0 deficit.

But to throw objects on the field, to storm the pitch in anger—well, that sort of behavior is frightening. Imagine the damage had that coin struck Ferdinand's eye.

In the end, it simply dampened what had been an otherwise cracking affair. Those City fans who reacted in such a way should be embarrassed.

 

Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets don't act like a hooligan after a loss.

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