Football

Chris Smalling trolled by Virgin Trains after red card in Manchester derby

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Manchester United defender Chris Smalling should've expected to receive some criticism for his ridiculous red card in Sunday's derby clash at the Etihad Stadium, but nobody would've anticipated Virgin Trains getting in on the act of trolling on social media.

However, that's exactly what they did after posting a tweet from their official account on Monday morning, actively encouraging the disgraced star to 'get out of Manchester'.

The 24-year-old England international was sent off for a second bookable offence before half-time of yesterday's highly charged encounter, handing the advantage to Manchester City with the score still tentatively poised at 0-0.

Smalling's first yellow card came after he charged down a Joe Hart drop kick, while the second offence was even more senseless, with a wild challenge on the advancing James Milner on the edge of United's penalty box.

The former Fulham star was criticised by Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal after the match, labelling the £60,000-a-week star "stupid" for the naivety he showed, leaving referee Michael Oliver with no choice but to given him his marching orders.

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Some fans were so furious with Smalling that they called for him to leave Old Trafford permanently, according to the Daily Star, and that vitriolic view was reciprocated by Virgin Trains on Twitter, who attempted to tap into the topic that was still trending 16 hours later.

His dismissal certainly contributed to Manchester United's eventual downfall, with Sergio Aguero netting a 63rd minute winner to secure a 1-0 victory for Manuel Pellegrini's side.

The result moved the Citizens to within four points of Premier League leaders Chelsea, while Van Gaal's misery continues with his side languishing in a lowly tenth place in the table with 13 points from their opening ten games.

Smalling will now be suspended for next Saturday's match against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford, which is a significant blow to the Dutch coach given the extensive injury problems that has ravaged Manchester United's defence.

Marcos Rojo was stretchered off in the same game with a dislocated shoulder, joining Phil Jones on the treatment table for the foreseeable future.

Arsenal transfer link

The London ticket price quoted in the hilarious Virgin Trains tweet also has a bit of a backstory because Smalling was actually linked with a transfer to Premier League rivals Arsenal in the summer.

According to the Daily Mail, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger wanted to bring the versatile star to the Emirates Stadium following the departure of Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona and injury suffered by summer signing Mathieu Debuchy.

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Topics:
Manchester United
Manchester City
Premier League
Chris Smalling
Football

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