Toni Duggan apologises for photo with Louis van Gaal

The Manchester City Women's star who posted a social media photo with Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal just hours after the men were thrashed in the Manchester derby has publicly apologised for doing so.

Toni Duggan posted a photo of her with the Old Trafford boss in the evening after his team thrashed Manuel Pellegrini's side 4-2 and moved in a damaging evening for the defending Premier League champions.

City's chances of retaining their title looked bleak before the match, but goals from Ashley Young, Marouane Fellaini, Juan Mata and Chris Smalling all but ended the faint hopes they had of overhauling Chelsea.

Meanwhile, Manchester City Women were busy brushing aside Birmingham City Ladies in the FA Women's Cup quarter-finals, in which Duggan had scored, and she was out celebrating with teammates later in the day.

She has since deleted the post, which attracted a torrent of abuse from Manchester City fans angry with the fact she had posted it so soon after they were humiliated by their local rivals.

Now she has gone further and issued an official apology for the post on her Facebook page. The 23-year-old England midfielder described the posting of the picture at that time as an "error of judgement".

"I would like to apologise to all MCFC fans for the error of judgement I made last night I now appreciate the significance of my actions and can assure everyone connected with Manchester City that I am proud to represent the Club and wear the shirt," she said.

If You Care About This, You Are lost

The prize for most ridiculous apology of the year goes to Toni Duggan! What on earth has she got to apologise for? She wasn't one of the Manchester City players that wilted when United pegged them back at the weekend, she was busy doing her job well in beating Birmingham that day.

Some may say the timing of it was insensitive, but those are people who need to get life into perspective. It's a bloody photo; it's not offensive and the harshest argument of it is that the timing could have rubbed some overly precious nitwits up the wrong way.

In no reasonable way does Duggan taking this photo look poorly on her club, the only people the whole sorry episode look poorly on are the dunderheads that thought it justified abusing her online.

If you are one of those people who is convinced there is something not right about it, it's probably because you take football too seriously. Turn off your phone/tablet/computer and go for a walk in the fresh air; perhaps then you can see the absurdity of getting annoyed at a photo.

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