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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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Ivanovic appeals FA charge

Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic has appealed against a charge of violent conduct following an incident in Saturday's win over Wigan at Stamford Bridge.

• Ivanovic charged by FA
•  Blog: Lady luck smiles on Chelsea

In the second half of the Blues' 2-1 victory, footage showed Ivanovic apparently punch opponent Shaun Maloney in the side in the build up to Juan Mata's winning goal, but referee Michael Jones did not see the incident.

On Tuesday, the FA reviewed the footage and found Ivanovic guilty of violent conduct, meaning he faced a three-match suspension, but the Serbian has appealed the judgement.

An FA Regulatory Commission will now hear Ivanovic's case on Thursday, based on further video evidence and written submissions.

It is understood Ivanovic accepts that there was contact, but denies that it was violent.

A statement on Chelsea's official website read: "Branislav Ivanovic has responded to the FA's charge of violent conduct and has appealed against it."

If the FA deem the defender's appeal to be frivolous, his ban can be extended from three matches to four, meaning he will miss Chelsea's match against Champions League-chasing rivals Newcastle.

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