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Referee pushed and Fulham shown three red cards during frenzied few minutes against Manchester United

<i>Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images</i><br/>Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic argues with referee Chris Kavanagh before getting sent off.
AFP via Getty Images
Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images
Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic argues with referee Chris Kavanagh before getting sent off.

By Ben Church, CNN

Premier League team Fulham had two players and its manager sent off as it lost 3-1 to Manchester United in a dramatic FA Cup quarterfinal on Sunday.

The visitors had been winning the tie 1-0 until the red midst descended in the second half at Old Trafford, with a frenzied few minutes resulting in a penalty and three red cards.

The dramatic sequence of events began after Fulham’s Willian used his arm to clear Jadon Sancho’s shot off the line.

Referee Chris Kavanagh had initially pointed for a corner but the video assistant referee (VAR) prompted him to check the pitch side monitor where it was clear Willian had used his arm.

But before Kavanagh could even make a decision, Fulham manager Marco Silva was sent off for his furious reaction on the sideline.

The referee then sent off Willian and awarded United a penalty, prompting another angry reaction from Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrović.

After Kavanagh had pointed to the spot, the 28-year-old — who had given Fulham the lead — pushed the referee and could be seen shouting in his face.

Kavanagh quickly showed Mitrović a red card and the striker needed to be dragged away by staff and teammates.

Bruno Fernandes scored the subsequent penalty, sparking a comeback from United, with goals from Marcel Sabitzer and another late effort from Fernandes finishing the tie.

After the match, Fulham boss Silva said he was angry that his team wasn’t awarded a penalty in the first half but admitted that he needed to control his emotions.

“Of course, in all the moments of the game, we should control the emotions,” he told reporters, saying his team hadn’t had much “luck” with referee Kavanagh this season.

“Of course, we are human beings, but we have to understand the business and the game that we’re playing, and we should control all the emotions.”

“[Mitrović] should control the emotions of the game,” Silva added. “Even if the decision came against us.

“Even if in the first half he had two moments inside the box that the referee didn’t give, at least one for him, and no one told the referee to go to the screen.

“He was involved in all the moments and it’s tough for him. At the same time, he has to control the emotions.”

It is yet to be seen what punishment Mitrović will receive for putting his hands on the referee.

Former Premier League striker Chris Sutton told the BBC that the striker should receive a “10-game ban” amid fears his reaction will set a dangerous precedent for young players in grassroots football.

In 1998, West Ham’s Paolo Di Canio received an 11-game ban after he pushed referee Paul Alcock.

Silva, though, is hopeful for a different outcome for his player.

“I hope the people who are going to decide do so with the fairness that the moment deserves,” he added.

The win means Manchester United will face Brighton in the semifinals, with the winner facing either Manchester City or Sheffield United in the final.

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