London (AFP) – Manchester United were charged on Tuesday by the Football Association (FA) with failing to control their players during the explosive FA Cup quarter-final with Chelsea, English football’s ruling body said.
United’s Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera was sent off in the first half shortly after referee Michael Oliver warned captain Chris Smalling about the continual fouling of Chelsea’s playmaker Eden Hazard.
Marcos Rojo was also caught on camera seemingly stamping on Hazard’s chest in the second half of the match which Chelsea won 1-0 to oust the holders, although the Argentine defender has not been charged.
The FA have taken exception more to the reaction of the players when Olivier sent off Herrera, with several surrounding the official and arguing with him over the decision.
“Manchester United have been charged for failing to control their players,” a statement from the governing body read.
“It follows an incident in the 35th minute of the FA Cup quarter final tie against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge yesterday (Monday).
“The club have until 6pm (1800GMT) on Friday, 17 March 2017 to respond to the charge.”
United will be relieved Rojo escaped a potential ban as Oliver’s report made clear he had seen the incident.
The League Cup winners, who are also chasing the Europa League trophy, will be without both leading scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Herrera for the Premier League games against struggling Middlesbrough and West Brom because of suspension.
However they are both available for United’s Europa League last-16 second leg clash with Russian side Rostov on Thursday. The first leg finished 1-1.