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Dublin: 8°C Tuesday 27 October 2020

Man United star denies deliberately spitting on City crest

Ander Herrera claims he did not insult the Red Devils’ opponents on Saturday.

Ander Herrera (file pic).
Ander Herrera (file pic).

ANDER HERRERA DENIED intentionally spitting on the Manchester City crest at half-time of Manchester United’s comeback at the Etihad Stadium.

United overturned a two-goal deficit thanks to Paul Pogba’s quick-fire brace in Saturday’s memorable 3-2 victory over Premier League champions-elect City, who were forced to wait to seal the title.

Herrera impressed for Jose Mourinho’s men, though footage has since emerged of the Spanish midfielder appearing to spit on the City crest on the ground as both teams made their way down the tunnel for the half-time break.

Those claims, however, were swiftly denied, with a United spokesperson saying: “Ander has seen the footage of the incident and is mortified at any suggestion that his actions were deliberate.

“It was entirely accidental and there was no intent whatsoever.”

It was a remarkable clash in Manchester, where United sensationally spoiled City’s Premier League party.

City were up 2-0 at the interval courtesy of Vincent Kompany and Ilkay Gundogan, and Pep Guardiola’s pacesetters were unfortunate not to be further ahead following the opening half.

United emerged from the break with renewed belief, however, as they stunned City — Pogba scoring twice within 97 seconds to restore parity before Chris Smalling completed the comeback in the 69th minute.

Speaking about the half-time team talk, Herrera said: “[Saturday] was not about tactics. At half-time we just talked about the pride, about the club, this club you can never underestimate it.

“We didn’t talk too much about tactics, just about our pride. Our pride on the pitch and that our fans were going to have a difficult night if we got beaten. We did it for them, and of course for us and our position, but overall for them.

“It was an important game for our fans. I was feeling sorry for them because it was going to be a difficult day for all of them. But this is Manchester United and nobody should ever underestimate it.

“Everyone was talking at half-time. Of course, the oldest guys with the most experience — Ashley [Young] and Michael [Carrick], who was also in the dressing room — they have power in their words, but everyone was talking.”

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