Van Persie strikes late as Ferdinand is left bloodied by coin in fiery derby
Manchester City last night apologised to Rio Ferdinand as the Football Association and police launched an investigation into the throwing of a coin which struck the defender above the left eye while he celebrated Robin van Persie's winning goal.
City were examining CCTV footage in an attempt to identify the fan, whose two-pence coin struck Ferdinand as he was about to lift his shirt in triumph as United went 3-2 ahead.
The 34-year-old was left wiping blood from his face, and the FA, who will liaise with Greater Manchester Police, said the supporter faces a lifetime ban – as does a man arrested by police on suspicion of fan-on-fan racist abuse after Van Persie's strike.
Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart got in between Ferdinand and a supporter who came on to the pitch to confront the defender, with Ferdinand later tweeting: "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!"
The FA also condemned the missile throwing, in which Wayne Rooney was also showered with coins, as "appalling" and "unacceptable". The investigations compounded a desperate afternoon for the City manager, Roberto Mancini, who publicly criticised Mario Balotelli, Samir Nasri and Carlos Tevez last night.
Mancini, above, said of Balotelli: "I love Mario as a guy and a player, but it is important for him to start to think about his job. He has everything to play well, we wanted more from him, he has everything but he cannot play like he played today. When you have the quality that Mario has, you can't understand it, how can you throw his quality out of the window? I have seen players like that with fantastic quality who end up with nothing."
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Opinion: Sam Wallace
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