Manchester United fined £20,000 by FA for failing to control players vs Liverpool

Tom Doyle
Manchester United via Getty Images

Manchester United have been fined £20,000 by the Football Association for failing to control their players during the 2-0 Premier League defeat at Liverpool on January 19 at Anfield.

The FA found that United failed to "ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion" by surrounding referee Craig Pawson following a controversial decision to initially award Liverpool a goal.

The incident occurred after Roberto Firmino scored following a challenge by Virgil van Dijk on David de Gea: the United goalkeeper dropped the ball under pressure, and United felt that Pawson should have awarded them a free-kick.

Following a VAR review, a foul was awarded - but United players had reacted furiously to Pawson's initial decision not to award a foul, with De Gea booked for his protests.

The decision provoked much debate, with former United captain Gary Neville saying at the time: "I don't think that's a foul. I think he just dropped it. It's soft."

The forceful nature of United's response - particularly De Gea's - may partially be down to the goalkeeper feeling aggrieved at not feeling protected by referees during aerial challenges this season, having seen a similar decision go against him as Everton drew 1-1 at Old Trafford on 15 December.