Grounds for complaint against City fan after big United win

Sports | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 9 Dec 2019

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer demanded a life ban from all football grounds for the spectator who aimed monkey chants at Manchester United's Brazilian midfielder Fred.

United's stunning 2-1 Premier League derby win over neighbors and defending champions Manchester City was overshadowed by ugly incidents at the Etihad Stadium.

Solskjaer said Fred along with teammate Jesse Lingard were affected by abuse.

And the United manager insisted it is the individual concerned rather than City as a club who should bear the brunt of any sanctions.

"It's not City's fault - it's his," Solskjaer said. "Nothing to do with City as a football club. He's been caught on camera and he should never be allowed into a football ground again."

Police have arrested a 41-year-old man on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order.

City pledged to take a zero-tolerance approach against supporters found to have subjected United players to racial abuse. "Anyone found guilty of racial abuse will be banned from the club for life," the club said.

Fred was also hit by objects thrown from the crowd as he prepared to take a corner in the second half, and footage on social media showed a City fan mimicking a monkey - an act aimed at the Brazilian.

City boss Pep Guardiola said: "It's a battle to fight every day. Unfortunately it has happened in many places."

Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial scored the goals for United, who survived a late onslaught after substitute Nicolas Otamendi pulled a goal back.

It was City's fourth league defeat of the season and left them 14 points behind leaders Liverpool.

Liverpool romped to a 3-0 win at Bournemouth earlier, leaving City's hopes of a third successive Premier League title in tatters.

United, meanwhile, moved up to fifth and within five points of fourth-placed Chelsea after a victory that came four days after they beat Tottenham 2-1 at Old Trafford.

Solskjaer went into a crucial week of fixtures with critics questioning whether he was the right man for the job of restoring the club's fortunes. But those sniping at the Norwegian will be a little quieter now. For in the space of four days he masterminded victories over Jose Mourinho and Guardiola.

"It's been an inconsistent start to the season," Rashford said, but "you have to stick with the manager and the process."

In Spain, Lionel Messi broke yet another record by hitting his 35th La Liga hat-trick as Barcelona thrashed Real Mallorca 5-2.

In Italy, Lazio dealt 10-man Juventus a first defeat of the season 3-1, scoring two goals in the final 20 minutes after Juan Cuadrado was sent off.

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