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UEFA asks for clubs' statements as it investigates chants

UEFA has asked for statements from both Manchester United and Liverpool, after the governing body announced it was investigating reports of illicit chanting in their Europa League ties.

Both north-west clubs last week found themselves subject to a host of disciplinary proceedings following disturbances during last Thursday's last-16 second-leg tie at Old Trafford.

However, only Liverpool were initially charged with illicit chanting, despite claims some sections of the United support chanted about the Hillsborough disaster in both legs.

"UEFA has recently been made aware of several reports concerning alleged illicit chanting on the occasion of the UEFA Europa League ties between Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC of 10 and 17 March 2016.

"As a result, a UEFA ethics and disciplinary inspector decided to investigate further and gather potential evidence.

"The two clubs have thus been asked to provide statements relating to the alleged incidents within 10 days."

– UEFA statement

Liverpool advanced to the quarter-finals of the competition with a 3-1 aggregate victory over Louis van Gaal's men.

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Louis van Gaal says no public backing from the club needed

Louis van Gaal insists he has no problem with Manchester United's failure to back him publicly.

Speculation has been swirling around Van Gaal ever since United slipped out of the top four and exited the Champions League.

Unlike when David Moyes was under pressure, United have failed to intimate that Van Gaal has their backing.

Some have taken that as a sign that Van Gaal has lost the faith of the board and that they are considering replacing him with Jose Mourinho.

But Van Gaal says he does not mind that the club have not made a statement backing him.

"I am not agreeing with that," the Dutchman said when asked if he was disappointed about any lack of public backing from the club.

"Because I have said many times that not all the media, but a lot of media, is inventing stories and you don't have to answer on invented stories.

"I agree with this policy of the club."

A winless run of eight matches towards the end of the year left Van Gaal's position under scrutiny.

United's form has improved since the start of the year, however. The Red Devils have lost just once in 2016 and sit fourth in the form table.

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