In the wake of another thrilling Manchester derby on Sunday, nine people have been arrested following a number of incidents in and around the Etihad Stadium.
The first Manchester derby clash of the Premier League season saw Manchester United clinch a late 2-3 win over rivals Manchester City via a Robin van Persie freekick deflected into the City goal by Samir Nasri in the 90th minute.
Whilst the game was played in good spirit, Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand was struck by a projectile thrown from the crowd, believed to have been a two pence coin and was approached by a fan upon the game’s conclusion who was then apprehended by City and England goalkeeper Joe Hart.
The Football Association have described the incident as ‘deplorable’, whilst the chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association has called for nets to be used to prevent such altercations in the future.
The FA have subsequently opened an official investigation into the incident involving Ferdinand whilst Manchester City have released an official statement offer their “sincere apologies” to Ferdinand who, in turn, thanked Joe Hart for his intervention via his Twitter account.
Relating to the crowd incidents and subsequent discussion over player celebrations, former Red Devils legend Paddy Crerand ranted at the host of the BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast show. The clip is understood to have now gone ‘viral’ over the Internet – the former United midfielder described calls to surpress players’ celebrations as “ludicrous”.
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson reacted in the aftermath of his team’s win which he described as “special” and “engrossing”, taking the opportunity to praise Wayne Rooney who netted a brace to put United 2-0 up and Robin van Persie who claimed the winner.
"It was great to see Wayne score two goals and knowing him he'll go on a run now. They were two good finishes. Van Persie's whole game was absolutely terrific today - he had them on the back foot," said the Scot.
Robin van Persie revealed that he and strike partner Wayne Rooney had discussed the freekick beforehand.
The striker said,
"Wazza asked me: 'What are you going to do? Are you going to shoot or cross it?' I said: 'I think I'll have a shot," whilst Rooney hailed the Dutchman’s strike as a “bit of magic got us the three points."
Winger Ashley Young also expressed his delight at the team’s fighting spirit. The Englishman noted,
“As a team, we have got a never-say-die attitude.”
In transfer news, Patrice Evra has responded to rumours linking him with a move to Paris Saint-Germain. He told the French Ligue 1 side, they’d have “kill Ferguson” if they wanted to prize him away from United.
Finally, the club has officially confirmed their plans to tour Australia next summer. United will commence their pre-season tour in Sydney – their first visit since 1999 – where they will face the Allstars on the 20th July 2013 at the ANZ Stadium.
image: © nasmac