Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has called for stern action and education in the wake of "unacceptable" alleged racist abuse aimed at his players during their Premier League win at Manchester City.
The Etihad Stadium bore witness to a match as thrilling as it was surprising as United overcame the reigning champions 2-1 thanks to goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.
‘GOAL OF THE SEASON’: Son wonder strike stuns football world
But the Manchester derby also witnessed disturbing scenes, with City confirming they were "aware of a video circulating on social media which appears to show a supporter making racial gestures".
The club are "working with Greater Manchester Police in order to help them identify any individuals concerned" after a supporter appeared to make a monkey gesture during a United attack in the second half.
The police said no arrests had been made and enquires were ongoing.
Racist incidents have been sadly too commonplace in European football this season, with fans outraged by the latest incident at City’s home ground.
Absolutely disgraceful behaviour by grown man!— Isaac Ham (@iHAM316) December 7, 2019
The sad thing is it’s coming from a grown man.... he should know better. Sorry not a man a idiot.— Chris kolevski (@iico7) December 7, 2019
They wont get fined cos their man city but I hope the book is thrown at em. Money does not buy racism should be docked points disgraceful— Daren Brown (@brown_daren) December 7, 2019
There were also reports of projectiles being thrown at players as tempers boiled over in the stands, with Fred appearing to be hit by an object hurled from the crowd as the visitors prepared to take a corner.
"Fred and Jesse (Lingard) were in the corner, taking a corner, and I've seen the video, heard from the boys," United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said.
"We keep talking about it every bloody week.
"But he's been caught on camera. He should, in my opinion, never be allowed into a football ground again and I've seen the video. Unacceptable.
"So I am sure that City and the authorities will deal with it."
‘Still in a backward society’
Asked about Fred's well-being, Solskjaer said: "It's affected both him and Jesse, of course... I am sure they'll feel sorry for them as well because it's an act of ignorance."
Lingard himself branded the individual's apparent behaviour "shameful".
Former Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred said the alleged incident showed "we are still in a backward society".
"Unfortunately, this is happening in some stadiums. It happened here, it happened in Ukraine with some friends. It's sad, but we have to keep our heads up and forget about that," he told ESPN Brazil.
Racism has become an alarmingly frequent topic in football this season, across Europe.
Asked whether similar sanctions should be meted out to City, Solskjaer responded: "Why don't we educate him instead?
"It's not City's fault, it's his - and that should be educated... Nothing to do with Man City as a football club, no."
The hosts reacted swiftly to Saturday's alleged incident, making a statement 20 minutes after fulltime.
"The club operates a zero tolerance policy regarding discrimination of any kind, and anyone found guilty of racial abuse will be banned from the club for life," City's statement read.
Manager Pep Guardiola backed the club's stance in the post-match press conference.
"I think support the statement the club has done," he said. "So, hopefully we are going to solve it and hopefully avoid it again and it doesn't happen again."