Manchester City have apologised to United defender Rio Ferdinand after he was struck by a coin during the closing stages of his team’s 3-2 win at the Etihad Stadium.
Ferdinand was celebrating Robin van Persie’s injury-time winner when he was hit by a two pence piece thrown by a City fan and was left with blood streaming from a cut above his eye.
City apologised to Ferdinand and are helping police examine CCTV footage of the incident in an attempt to identify the culprit.
“Manchester City wishes to offer its sincere apologies to Rio Ferdinand. The club unreservedly condemns the actions which led to his being injured,” a club statement read.
Police also arrested a man on suspicion of committing a racially aggravated public order offence during the game, although City were unsure whether it was a home or away fan who had been detained.
The violence escalated when celebrating United players were narrowly missed by a blue flare and a City fan ran on to the pitch to confront Ferdinand, only to be blocked by City keeper Joe Hart.
The pitch invader was led away by the police before bizarrely being walked in front of the United section, causing further disorder.
United boss Alex Ferguson was critical of the fans’ behaviour.
“It’s just disappointing at the end that supporter ran on the field and Rio was hit with a coin in the eye.
“That was a bit disappointing. The game did not deserve that. I don’t know whether they are going to stitch it or not, we’ll see.
“The same thing happened at Chelsea and it was all masked by the carry-on. Half a seat came on and hit [Michael] Carrick and then a coin, lighters, the lot — the game doesn’t need that.”
Ferdinand tweeted: “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!”
Wayne Rooney, who ran to the City supporters to celebrate van Persie’s winner, had earlier claimed to have been the target for objects thrown by home supporters as he waited to take a corner.
At the final whistle, police struggled to keep the two sets of fans apart and bottles and other objects were thrown between the two sections.
Two goals from Rooney put United into a two-goal lead that was wiped out by efforts from Yaya Toure and Pablo Zabaleta before van Persie’s late strike put United six points clear at the top of the table.
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