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See Tweet as Man United duo Anthony Martial and Axel Tuanzebe racially abused after Sheffield United defeat

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Anthony Martial and Axel Tuanzebe were racially abused on Instagram following Man Utd’s shock defeat by Sheffield United; a number of users posted racist comments and symbols on old photos; Tuanzebe also targeted on Twitter; Man Utd missed chance to reclaim top spot in Premier League table

Axel Tuanzebe and Anthony Martial were racially abused on social media after Manchester United 2-1 defeat to Sheffield United on Wednesday night.

United forward Martial played the full match at Old Trafford, while centre-back Tuanzebe was substituted in the 83rd minute after starting his first Premier League game of the season.

Following the defeat, abuse was aimed at the players’ Instagram accounts. A number of users posted racist comments and symbols on old photos. Tuanzebe was also targeted on Twitter.

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On Thursday morning, Manchester United said they were “disgusted” by the abuse and hope the “anonymous mindless idiots” are identified, while players including captain Harry Maguire and forward Marcus Rashford tweeted their support for Martial and Tuanzebe.

“Everyone at Manchester United is disgusted by the racial abuse received by players via social media after last night’s game,” a club statement read.

“We utterly condemn it and it is encouraging to see other fans condemn this on social media also.

“Manchester United has zero tolerance of any form of racism or discrimination and a long-standing commitment to campaigning against it through our All Red All Equal initiative.

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“Identifying these anonymous mindless idiots remains problematic. We urge social media platforms and regulatory authorities to strengthen measures to prevent this kind of behaviour.”

Anti-racism group Kick It Out also condemned the abuse and will continue to work with social media companies and the relevant authorities to hold those responsible to account.

Kick It Out chair Sanjay Bhandari said: “We are disappointed that players are continuing to be subject to racist abuse on their social platforms, it is completely unacceptable.

“We will continue to work with the football authorities, law enforcement and social media companies to try and rid football of hateful and discriminatory behaviour.

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Sheffield United pulled off one of the shocks of the season as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were beaten by Chris Wilder’s men.

United had the chance to move back above Manchester City into top spot but produced a disappointing display against the bottom-of-the-table Blades, who had only won once in the Premier League this season.

Kean Bryan headed home the opener when taking advantage of some questionable goalkeeping from David de Gea, but former Sheffield United man Maguire scored his first goal at Old Trafford to level it up.

A late siege on the Sheffield United goal was expected but Wilder’s decision to bring on Oliver Burke paid off as he struck the winner via a big deflection off Tuanzebe.

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