Kick It Out calls for "decisive action" after Man United's Marcus Rashford suffers racist abuse

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Kick It Out has called for “decisive action” after Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford was subjected to racist abuse on social media moments after missing a penalty against Crystal Palace.

The past week has seen Chelsea forward Tammy Abraham, United midfielder Paul Pogba and Reading’s Yakou Meite all racially abused on Twitter after failing to score from the spot.

In the build-up to the latest set of domestic games, Premier League managers put the focus on social media companies to police abuse dished out to players online.

With a little over 20 minutes to go of United’s Premier League game against Palace, and with the home side trailing 1-0, Rashford saw his penalty cannon off the left post and across the face of goal.

Following the miss, the England international received numerous abusive posts on social media.

Anti-discrimination campaigners Kick It Out were quick to condemn the latest incidents.

“The vile racist abuse on social media continued today. This problem will not go away and needs decisive action – that’s what we’ll be making clear to Twitter when we meet,” a statement read.

Representatives of Twitter are also planning to meet with officials at United to discuss the racial abuse aimed at Pogba following his penalty miss against Wolves on Monday night.

Twitter have been contacted for comment by the PA news agency following Saturday’s latest incident.

Following the match, which saw Palace win 2-1 following a stoppage-time goal from defender Patrick Van Aanholt, Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hit out at the abuse directed towards Rashford.

“It’s the same we spoke about before the weekend. It’s unheard of and we need it to stop, it needs to stop,” Solskjaer said at the post-match press conference.

“I’m just lost for words if it keeps going. We keep having all these campaigns ‘No to Racism’ and it keeps hiding behind fake identities. It’s just crazy that we talk about this in 2019.”

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Manchester United put in a thoroughly wretched performance as they lost to Crystal Palace for the first time in the Premier League era, going down 2-1 to Patrick van Aanholt’s stoppage time winner.

United dominated the early exchanges but offered precious little end product, and were punished for it when Palace took a surprise lead, scoring for the first time this season when Jordan Ayew ran on to Jeffrey Schlupp’s header and finished with supreme calm past David De Gea.

Frustrated for much of the afternoon, United had the chance to level just after the hour mark but Marcus Rashford saw his ferocious penalty thump off the inside of the post after Scott McTominay was tripped by Luka Milivojevic.

The Stretford End was cheering though when Daniel James curled in a delicious equaliser late on. And they were baying for a winner when Van Aanholt’s innocuous effort somehow slipped under De Gea for a famous win.

MANCHESTER UNITED (4-2-3-1)

David De Gea 5: Did little apart from pick the ball out of his net for Palace’s goal…until old issues reared their ugly head when he allowed Van Aanholt’s hopeful swipe to slip through his grasp.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka 5: Caught napping for the opener as he allowed Jordan Ayew to ghost in on goal. Struggled to shackle Wilfried Zaha and offered little in attack. His first poor outing in a red shirt.

Victor Lindelof 5: Easily outjumped by Schlupp for Palace’s opener. Otherwise won four aerial duels. Had little to deal with as Palace attacked infrequently.

Harry Maguire 6: Sent Rashford away with a defence-splitting through ball after expert interception. Commanding in the air, deployed as auxiliary left winger in second half as United pressed.

Luke Shaw 6: Started brightly with one lung-busting run. But niggling doubts resurfaced when he went off with a hamstring pull soon after.

Paul Pogba 5: Like Rashford, the talismanic midfielder endured a frustrating afternoon. Better after the break but little he tried came off. Dispossessed a team high four times and 80.5 per cent pass accuracy was woeful.

Scott McTominay 6: Ponderous once or twice. Boundless energy and diligence allows others – especially Pogba – to flourish. Took on a more attacking role after half-time and won the penalty.

Daniel James 7: Had United’s best first half chance but walloped his shot into Van Aahnholt. Shown another yellow card for diving. Again a poor decision. Persevered and pulled United level with a sumptuous curler into the top corner.

Jesse Lingard 5: Lack of creativity a problem in No10 role, although his hard running backwards (second most United tackles with two) and forwards, plus 88.2 pass accuracy (fourth best among United starters), won’t matter to the boo boys.

Marcus Rashford 3: United’s most potent player, the problem was nothing came off for the young forward. Nothing. Passing was poor and day summed up by smashing penalty off the post.

Anthony Martial 5: Intricate movement posed plenty of problems for Palace, Gary Cahill was lucky to remain on the field. But lack of end product showed he still needs to improve.

SUBS:

Ashley Young 7: Solid after replacing the seemingly paper-limbed Shaw. One nice flick over former United winger Zaha got him out of trouble. Telling he led team with five key passes.

Mason Greenwood 6: Ineffectual despite being given a good chunk of time. To be expected at only 17.

Juan Mata N/A: Thrown on as a last roll of the dice, a calm head if nothing else.

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Man United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer backs Paul Pogba to score more penalties

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has backed Paul Pogba to score more penalties for Manchester United.

The French midfielder was criticised for taking a spot-kick in Monday’s draw with Wolves, ahead of Marcus Rashford, and then seeing it saved by Rui Patricio.

Pogba has now missed four of his 11 attempts in the Premier League, but Solskjaer said: “I’m sure you’re going to see Paul Pogba score a penalty for Man United again. Definitely.

“Let’s see when we get the next one. We’re practising penalties still and Marcus and Paul are still on them.”

Television pundit and former United player Gary Neville branded the situation “embarrassing” but Solskjaer insisted it had not been Pogba taking the ball off Rashford, with the two men sharing penalty duties.

Solskjaer also defended his own authority, saying: “It’s not that I’ve left it to the players to sort out, we’ve nominated two. It’s not like there’s anarchy and do whatever you want. Last season we had Marcus, Jesse (Lingard), Paul who all scored penalties, probably more as well.

“(There’s) absolutely no fighting among them. We’re disappointed that we didn’t win the game but the talk is always more difficult when you don’t get a result.”

Pogba was subjected to racist abuse on social media after the game, and representatives of Twitter are planning to meet officials at United to discuss the situation.

Solskjaer said: “Paul’s fine. Paul’s a strong character and it makes him stronger. I just cannot believe we still sit here in 2019 talking about these instances.

“Social media is a place where, as Harry (Maguire) said, people can hide behind fake identities. I don’t think it’s down to me to change it but we’ve got to do something about it and the authorities have got to do something about these ones that spread this hate.

“You just feel sorry for them really. They must have problems themselves when they have to do this.

“We’re not going to ban our players on social media. We have to spread the good word because it’s so much good we can use social media for but we have to stop those incidents, definitely.”

Solskjaer, meanwhile, declined to respond to Romelu Lukaku’s claims in an interview on NBA player Josh Hart’s LightHarted podcast that he did not feel protected by the club and was made a scapegoat when things were not going well.

“I’m not going to dive into that one,” said the United boss of the former Red Devils striker. “I think that interview was made before the summer when he was a Man United player so I think I’d rather not.”

alexis sanchez

Lukaku is now an Inter Milan player and he could yet be joined by striker Alexis Sanchez, who is out of the first-team picture at Old Trafford.
The Chilean played in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Sheffield United this week, and Solskjaer said: “There are still talks with some clubs but he played in that game and he played well. He’s working hard and let’s see in September what’s going to happen.”

United will look to get back to winning ways when Crystal Palace visit Old Trafford on Saturday.

The equivalent game last season ended in a goalless draw and saw then-manager Jose Mourinho criticise his players for a lack of heart.

Solskjaer said: “I didn’t watch the game last year, I think we had a game ourselves with Molde, but I heard they had a few counter-attacks, Wilf (Zaha) was close to scoring.

“But pre-season has been very encouraging, team spirit great. We’ve got loads of energy and passion. You can see the way we went about the game against Wolverhampton, I thought our pressing was excellent. We gave them five minutes in the second half, that was it really.

“The engine looks so much better, everyone’s fit, and when you’re physically fit it’s easy to be mentally strong as well.”

Copy provided by Press Association Sport

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