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The Manchester United winger believes his team-mate was lucky not to be more seriously hurt by the missile thrown by a home supporter after Robin van Persie's late winning goal

Manchester United winger Ashley Young believes that Rio Ferdinand was lucky that the coin that hit him above his eye at the end of Sunday's derby match against Manchester City did not do more serious damage.

Ferdinand was celebrating Robin van Persie's winning goal in the 3-2 victory at the Etihad Stadium when he was hit by a coin thrown by a home supporter.

Both the Football Association and Greater Manchester Police are investigating the trouble and Young also explained that Wayne Rooney had faced similar hostility when taking a corner near the City fans.

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

"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 needed to intervene when a fan invaded the pitch and ran towards Ferdinand after he had been cut.

"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 added.

Van Persie scored late in the game to seal three points after Yaya Toure and Pablo Zabaleta had cancelled out Wayne Rooney's first-half double.

Young hailed United's mental strength after they dealt with their rivals' comeback and says the animated celebrations simply showed how much the players and staff cared.

"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 enthused.

"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.

"It's the team spirit, will-to-win and that desire to go out to get 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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