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Bitter rivals Man United and Liverpool square off on Sunday in a huge game for the title and top four alike – (Sun 13:30 SS1)

Sir Alex Ferguson has accused the Football Association’s disciplinary panel of being “dysfunctional” after Steven Gerrard escaped punishment for the second time in a matter of weeks.

It comes after Rio Ferdinand was forced to accept a three-match FA ban for throwing an arm at Hull City striker Craig Fagan off the ball. Ferdinand was then handed an additional one-match ban for what was deemed to be a “frivolous” appeal over.

Gerrard appeared to flick a V-sign in the direction of referee Andre Marriner during Liverpool’s defeat at Wigan. And then the England international appeared to elbow Portsmouth’s Michael Brown on Monday.

Gerrard will face no further sanction over either incident and Ferguson believes it hints of double standard.

Ferguson said: “I didn’t expect anything to happen to Steven Gerrard. It (the disciplinary panel) is a dysfunctional unit. I don’t know what they are doing.

“There is no consistency for a start and I didn’t expect to get any,” continued Ferguson. “I am not too bothered about it. They can do what they want down there. It is crazy at times.”

Bitter rivals Man United and Liverpool square off on Sunday in a huge game for the title and top four alike – (Sun 13:30 SS1)

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