Manchester United have been charged with failing to control their players though Marcos Rojo has escaped a Football Association punishment after appearing to stamp on Chelsea’s Eden Hazard.
The alleged incidents occurred during United’s 1-0 FA Cup quarter-final defeat at Stamford Bridge on Monday. In a fractious encounter Rojo made contact with Hazard’s chest towards the end of the tie. Michael Oliver, the referee, did not appear to see this and he did not warn Rojo or censure the defender with a booking.
This cleared the way for the Argentinian to potentially face a retrospective charge but Rojo did not have a case to answer, which may cause some surprise following the five‑match ban Tyrone Mings was handed for stamping on Zlatan Ibrahimovic during United’s 1-1 draw with Bournemouth on 4 March. It is understood Oliver stated in his report he had seen the incident and in accordance with FA rules there could be no retrospective action against Rojo.
Regarding United’s charge the FA stated: “Manchester United have been charged for failing to control its players. It follows an incident in the 35th minute of the FA Cup quarter-final against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The club have until 6pm on Friday to respond to the charge.”
The alleged episode came after Oliver sent off Ander Herrera. This prompted several United players to surround the official and argue with him. Herrera received a second yellow card for tripping Hazard after drawing an earlier booking from Oliver for a body check on the Belgian.
It is thought the referee issued the second booking to Herrera after warning the captain, Chris Smalling, that as United were engaged in the systematic fouling of Chelsea’s players the next indiscretion would be dealt with by the issuing of a yellow card.
It is not known how United intend to respond to the charge. If they are found guilty it seems likely the club will receive a fine and a warning as to their future conduct.
Herrera is banned for two matches after he missed a single game earlier in the term when being sent off in the goalless draw with Burnley in October.
Herrera will miss the Premier League matches against West Bromwich Albion and Middlesbrough along with Ibrahimovic. For the latter player they are the second and third matches of a three-game ban he received for elbowing Mings in the game with Bournemouth.