• Premier League

Ashley Young: Rio could have been blinded

ESPN staff
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Ashley Young believes Rio Ferdinand was lucky to escape without more serious injury © Getty Images
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Ashley Young believes team-mate Rio Ferdinand was fortunate to escape serious injury after being hit by a coin thrown from the crowd after Manchester United's winner in Sunday's derby.

Ferdinand suffered a cut above his left eye when hit by an object, believed to be a two-pence coin, after celebrating Robin van Persie's injury-time decider near a section of home fans at the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City have apologised to Ferdinand and vowed to help police with their inquiries.

But winger Young told MUTV: "It could have taken Rio's eye out. You've seen the cut on his head."

The England international warned that it was not a one-off incident, adding: "When Wazza [Wayne Rooney] was taking a corner there were so many objects being thrown on to the pitch as well."

City goalkeeper Joe Hart also had to restrain a supporter who came on to the pitch to confront Ferdinand after Van Persie's goal.

And Young said: "On another day, if the pitch had not been so wet, the fan who came on to the pitch wouldn't have slipped over and could have attacked Rio."

Young was delighted with another display of United's spirit after Sir Alex Ferguson's team, who had been 2-0 up, recovered from losing their lead to claim all three points courtesy of Van Persie's late free kick.

"We knew they were going to come out in the second half and conceding two goals is disappointing but, as a team, we have got a never-say-die attitude," Young said. "We always know there is going to be another chance and, with Robin scoring it, you look at the celebrations and see how much it meant - not just to the players but the staff as well."

The result gives United a six-point advantage over their local and title rivals and puts them in pole position to displace City as champions.

And Young added: "It's the team spirit, will-to-win and that desire to go out to the three points. After we had led 2-0, we didn't want to throw that away, especially when you come to a place like this and we can go six points clear going into the busy Christmas period.

"It was important for us to get this win because if we'd have come off at 2-2 it would have felt like a defeat so we're more than delighted to get three points."

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