Premier League - Sick Taylor chants condemned, Police probe Ba 'abuse'

Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill has condemned the club's supporters who targeted Newcastle defender Steven Taylor with sick chants in Sunday's derby, while Northumbria Police are investigating claims that Demba Ba was racially abused by a home fan.

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Premier League - Sick Taylor chants condemned, Police probe Ba 'abuse'
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Steven Taylor, Newcastle United (PA Photos)

Taylor said prior to the game that no Sunderland players would get into the Newcastle team and the response from Wearside was sustained chanting in his direction when he warmed up and then came on as a substitute with 10 minutes remaining.

Sunderland fans were heard to be chanting: "Steven Taylor, we wish you were dead."

Though O'Neill did not hear the chants himself, he left supporters in no doubt as to the fact that such songs are entirely unacceptable.

“If that is what they were singing then it would be in very poor taste,” he said. “If I had heard that I would have been disappointed.”

O'Neill did admit that his players had been made aware of Taylor's comments regarding the fact they would not make Alan Pardew's starting XI.

"It didn't figure in my team talk, but some of the players had passed comment about it," O'Neill said.

"He's absolutely entitled to his opinion. I am delighted he made their bench."

In a spiteful derby game that ended 1-1 following Ba's late own goal, it is also alleged that the Senegalese striker was the victim of racial abuse and police are investigating the matter.

Northumbria Police Chief Supt Steve Neill said: "We have received a report of racist language being used at the Sunderland versus Newcastle game.

"Northumbria Police will not tolerate racism in any form and enquiries into the report are being carried out."

Newcastle fans are also reported to have sung unacceptable songs about deceased paedophile Jimmy Savile and Sunderland captain Lee Cattermole.

It was also alleged that home fans had hurled golf balls at Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye but the missiles were later revealed to be rolled up pieces of paper.

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