Chris Smalling trolled by Virgin Trains following red card for Manchester United defender

The England international was sent off during the derby against City

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The Independent Football

Chris Smalling would have expected to be lambasted by his manager following his red card in the Manchester derby, but the defender probably wasn't expecting a train operator to stick the boot in as well.

The Manchester United defender was sent off at the Etihad following two needless bookings. The first came for obstructing Joe Hart as the City goalkeeper looked to take a drop kick, before the England international slid in recklessly on James Milner.

United put in a spirited performance after going down to 10-men but were unable to leave the blue half of Manchester with anything to show for it - Sergio Aguero's second-half strike ensuring a win for City.

After the match, Louis van Gaal said of the dismissal: "In a derby you have to be careful - the second yellow card is a stupid yellow card.

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"The sending-off is not one of those things. As a player you have to control your aggression.

"I didn't see the first yellow but with the second, you know you already have a yellow, so have to handle it differently. I said that to the players."

But more surprising was a tweet from Virgin Trains. Whoever controls the Twitter feed of the train operator took the opportunity to simultaneously promote their ticket prices and have a dig at the Manchester United defender.


Smalling will be suspended for United's next match, meaning he won't be able to feature again until the game against Arsenal on 22 November. Perhaps he could afford to go away.