• AFP-JIJI

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Manchester United has been charged by the Football Association over misconduct of its players in a 2-0 defeat to runaway Premier League leader Liverpool.

United’s players surrounded referee Craig Pawson midway through the first half on Sunday after Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk challenged goalkeeper David de Gea.

Roberto Firmino subsequently scored, but his goal was ruled out following a VAR review of Van Dijk’s clash with the Spanish goalkeeper.

De Gea dropped the ball which the defense failed to clear allowing Firmino to take advantage and score.

“Manchester United FC has been charged with a breach of F.A. Rule E20(a),” read the F.A. statement.

“It is alleged that the club failed to ensure its players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion during the 26th minute of the Premier League fixture against Liverpool FC on Sunday.”

A furious De Gea led Manchester United protests, rushing over to Pawson to vent his frustration. The Spaniard, who was booked for his actions, was joined by a number of his team-mates in surrounding Pawson.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did not appear pleased that the charge had been brought.

“Maybe I shouldn’t talk too much and let’s get that decision done,” said Solskjaer at a Tuesday’ news conference on the eve of Manchester United’s match against Burnley.

“But it was overturned. I didn’t see it (the players reaction) and I reacted myself.

“It was a foul.”

Van Dijk had already opened the scoring for Liverpool prior to the incident and Mohamed Salah added a second in time added on to extend Liverpool’s lead over Manchester City to 16 points. Manchester United trails by 30 points.

Manchester United has until Thursday to respond to the charge.

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