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Jonny Evans charged by FA over 'spitting' incident

ewcastle United's Papiss Demba Cisse squares up to Manchester United's Jonny Evans during the Barclays Premier League match Credit: Richard Sellers/PA Wire

Manchester United defender Jonny Evans and Newcastle United’s Papiss Cisse have both been charged by The FA following allegations of spitting in last night's game

Both players have until 6pm on Friday 6 March 2015 to respond to the charge.

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Jonny Evans: 'I did not spit at Papiss Cisse'

Manchester United defender Jonny Evans has released a statement denying allegations that he spat at Papiss Cisse during last night's game against Newcastle United.

Jonny Evans Credit: Press Association

In a statement released on Manchester United's website he said:

"Having woken up this morning I am shocked to have seen the media coverage from last night’s match. I would like to make it clear that I did not spit at Papiss Cisse.

"I was totally unaware of any spitting incident and had assumed that the issue at the time was with the challenge and his attempted retaliation to the tackle from the floor. During the game Papiss Cisse and I spoke about the incident and it is clear by my reaction in the television footage that I was totally surprised by any suggestion of spitting.

"It is not in my character or in my nature to spit at anybody nor is it something I have ever done or would ever do. It is certainly not something that I did last night."

Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse has issued a statement apologising for his part in the incident between him and Evans during the Premier League match at St James' Park.

Newcastle United's Papiss Demba Cisse squares up to Manchester United's Jonny Evans during the Barclays Premier League match Credit: Richard Sellers/PA Wire.

Louis van Gaal says Manchester United 'can perform better'

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal says his team can play better.

United have been criticised for their lacklustre performances in recents matches.

Van Gaal is calling for his players to play well for 90 minutes when they travel to Wales to face Swansea in the Premier League.

The Dutchman has been left with another selection conundrum after he revealed Robin van Persie is back fit.

Van Persie missed the 3-1 win over Preston on Monday because of an unspecified injury, but the striker is in the squad for this weekend's game at the Liberty Stadium.

Van Persie's return means Van Gaal will have to decide whether to hand his Dutch compatriot a start at the expense of Wayne Rooney or Radamel Falcao - or drop his captain into midfield.

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Preston North End's biggest game in 40 years

Thousands of Preston North End fans will pack a sold out Deepdale for a match described as a "once in lifetime."

The FA Cup fifth round glamour tie sees the Premier League heavy weights, Manchester United, make the short trip up the M6.

It's the first time since 1972 that United have played in Preston.

Manchester United revenues down 14%

Thousands of supporters arriving at Old Trafford for a game. Credit: Press Association.

Manchester United have reported revenue down 14% for the second quarter of their financial year as a result of being absent from the Champions League.

United's revenues for the three months ending December 31 were £105.7million compared to £122.9million a year ago - but not as great a drop as some analysts had predicted due to a reduction in the club's costs and a rise in commercial income.

United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said the club - currently third in the Premier League table - was well-placed to make it back into the Champions League next season.

Woodward said: "On the pitch, the team is well positioned to challenge for a top four finish in the Premier League and we look forward to the rest of the season."

The biggest impact on the finances has been the lack of broadcast income from European football, down 46.9 per cent to £28.4million.

The wage bill has dropped £2.9million over the three months - mainly due to a reduction in the size of the squad compared to last season.

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