Manchester United have been charged by the FA for failing to control their players in the 2-0 defeat at Liverpool on Sunday.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s side surrounded referee Craig Pawson angrily after Roberto Firmino looked to have put Liverpool 2-0 up in the first half following a foul on David De Gea by Virgil Van Dijk. However, VAR then intervened and ruled out the goal.
Below is the statement from the FA, as United have until Thursday to respond to the charge.
“Manchester United FC has been charged with a breach of FA Rule E20(a). 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 (19/1/20).”
Speaking about the charge, Solskjaer had to bite his lip.
“Maybe I shouldn’t talk too much about that,” Solskjaer said. “Let’s get that decision done. It’s overturned [the decision]. I reacted myself because it was a foul.”
United’s players reacted angrily as Pawson had the whistle in his mouth and appeared to be ready to blow it after Virgil van Dijk jumped into De Gea, but then allowed played to continue, as several United players stopped and Firmino whipped the ball into the far top corner.
It seemed like Pawson was going to call it a foul but decided he would let play continue and if a goal was scored, VAR would check the incident anyway.
That is the VAR world we now live in as referees know they have a back-up and as they were told at the start of the season, they are allowing situations to unfold where they previously would have made a quick decision, then waiting for a VAR review to make the decision for them.
Could you blame United’s players for being angry about the delay which almost cost them a goal? Probably not. The reaction of some of their players crowding around Pawson and getting in his face was too much and will likely see a fine handed their way if it isn’t overturned.
VAR was supposed to take the pressure off officials on the pitch for big calls but this incident shows how they are still at the center of any controversy, even if they aren’t making the ultimate decision.