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Manchester City Investigating Fans' Alleged Racist Abuse vs. Manchester United

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistDecember 7, 2019

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07: Fred of Manchester United reacts after being struck by an item thrown by the Manchester City fans during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Etihad Stadium on December 07, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Manchester City have confirmed they're investigating at least one supporter for racist abuse after videos circulated online appearing to show United players being targeted by home fans during Saturday's derby.

Jesse Lingard and Fred were among the players reportedly targeted at the Etihad Stadium, where United won 2-1 thanks to goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, per Reuters (h/t ESPN).

City's statement read:

"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."

The Manchester City press office said after the game that several United players said they'd been subjected to racist abuse (h/t NBC Sports, via the International Sport Press Association's Chris Williams):

Chris Williams @Chris78Williams

NBC Sports reporting post-match, that Manchester United players have been subjected to racial discrimination, via the Manchester City press office.. #MCIMUN

Anti-discrimination organisation Kick It Out was also contacted:

Kick It Out @kickitout

We have been inundated with reports of alleged racist abuse from a number of individuals during this evenings Manchester Derby. We will be contacting both clubs to offer our support and hope swift action is taken to identify the offenders.

Home supporters at the Etihad Stadium threw objects at United midfielder Fred during his side's 2-1 win over rivals City on Saturday, with at least one appearing to hit the player.

The Mirror's Liam Prenderville wrote Fred was struck in the back of the head by one object thrown as he attempted to take a corner in the 67th minute, when United were leading 2-0.

City talisman Fernandinho came to the aid of his Brazil team-mate and urged the spectators to stop throwing things before referee Anthony Taylor cleared the objects from the pitch, per BBC News

Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial scored in the first half to put Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side in a strong position, and Nicolas Otamendi's 85th-minute header was only a consolation for the hosts.

Former Manchester City midfielder Nigel de Jong called on his old club to make a strong statement against the fans in question in punditry on beIN Sports:

beIN SPORTS @beINSPORTS_EN

Fred appeared to be racially abused by a supporter before being hit by an object thrown from the crowd - the studio calls for #ManCity to make a strong statement with their punishment! Follow 👉 https://t.co/n7MYIAKIxY #beINPL #MCIMUN https://t.co/qHytmksphU

Fred is enjoying arguably his best run in the United side since joining the club, having now played the full 90 minutes in their last nine Premier League games.

The £52 million signing from Shakhtar Donetsk has endured scrutiny from fans for not justifying his expense, but Statman Dave lauded the latest in a string of improving performances:

Statman Dave @StatmanDave

Fred completed 4/4 take-ons vs. Man City, no player on the pitch completed more. Stepped up again. 👏👏👏 https://t.co/F3EwnzKCIF

Former Red Devil Louis Saha picked the South American out for praise:

Louis Saha @louissaha

Enormous Solskjaer!!!!! Enormous team spirit. Physically & defensively very strong. Lingard very generous. Scott/Fred wow. Bissakiller!!! Rash/Martial amazing!!! What a derby.

City have now won just twice in their past seven games, a record they haven't matched since April 2017.