A quite fantastic footballing spectacle in the Manchester derby in last weekend's Premier League ties was very much overshadowed by some terrible behaviour from the crowd.
During the match itself, United went two goals ahead thanks to Wayne Rooney before a wrong offside call went against Ashley Young, who should have made it 3-0.
Soon after City began their comeback with a goal from Yaya Toure before Pablo Zabaleta made it all square. A very late free kick goal from Robin van Persie sealed the win for the away team at the Etihad Stadium amid scenes of mayhem following the unsavoury incidents.
The victory has sent United six points clear at the top of the table but the aftermath of the crowd trouble is far from over.
City were quick to apologise to the defender of their rivals after he was hit in the face with a coin, as per BBC:
We apologise to Rio. We condemn the actions of the individual concerned. We will support the police with any investigation and hopefully identify the person as soon as possible.
The Citizens' spokesman also confirmed the club would follow their own disciplinary procedures as well as aid the police and the FA.
As for Ferdinand himself, he appeared happy to try and play down the incident with a timely tweet, perhaps anticipating that there was enough rivalry between the two teams at present without the need for inflammatory reactions 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
His manager Alex Ferguson was not so ready to let the assailants off lightly.
The blood trailing down the face of Ferdinand after the initial incident was an unsavoury image to end the game with and Ferguson clearly was at pains to make it known he didn't wish to see a repeat performance, as he spoke to Sky Sports.
We were very determined to win but it's unfortunate toward the end that the City fan runs on. I don't think you need that. The same thing happened at Chelsea which was masked really by all the other things that happened. Two fantastic teams today, I think, and a fantastic game of football and it could do without that.
Following the coin-throwing incident, a fan ran onto the pitch towards Ferdinand and had to be restrained by Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart. He was then removed from the pitch by police—one of nine fans at the game who were arrested and charged.
Respect to Joe Hart for protecting that idiot who ran on!! Love the banter between fans but there is a point when it goes too far...calm it!— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) December 9, 2012
Following the match, the supporter apologised to Ferdinand and United as a whole for his actions, as per the Manchester Evening News:
I am extremely ashamed of my actions. I have let myself down, my family down, my fellow fans down and Manchester City Football Club. I intend to write personally to Mr Ferdinand to express my extreme regret and apologies and also apologise to Manchester United and their fans. I would like to thank Joe Hart for his actions when I came on the pitch.
Equally as disturbing were reports of one supporter being "summonsed for a racially aggravated public order offence" according to the BBC. It has not been divulged who was the target of the alleged offence, but it is yet another dark stain on the game in Manchester which had plenty of talking points during the 90 minutes without the need for such lamentable interventions from the crowd.
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