Ferdinand faces FA trouble

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand is facing up to the prospect of a three-match suspension after lashing out at Hull City forward Craig Fagan.

The England international's swinging elbow connected with Fagan during the 4-0 success at Old Trafford, knocking him down inside United's penalty area, but referee Steve Bennett missed the incident at the time.

Following TV replays, Bennett admitted that he would have dismissed the centre-half if he had witnessed the offence.

Wayne Rooney ran riot and scored all four goals as United returned to the summit of the Premier League, but with a possible ban in line for Ferdinand, it gives boss Sir Alex Ferguson another defensive headache.

It was Ferdinand's first match since the 2-0 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield back in October, following a lengthy injury lay-off due to a back complaint.

Ferdinand has until 6pm on Wednesday to put forward his defence and the FA will hear the case on Thursday.

If he is found guilty of the charge, he will miss the top-of-the-table showdown at big rivals Arsenal as well as the home clash against rock-bottom Portsmouth on Saturday week.

The ban would be complete following United's trip to the Midlands, where they will face Martin O'Neill's Aston Villa on February 10.

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