Benitez hit with misconduct charge

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Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has been charged with improper conduct for criticising the referee following his side's defeat at Tottenham Hotspur last month, the Football Association said on Tuesday.

Liverpool were beaten 2-1 on the opening day fixture at White Hart Lane but Benitez was annoyed that his side had not been awarded a penalty when Spurs defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto tangled with Andriy Voronin late on.

Asked by reporters in the post-match press conference what he thought of referee Phil Dowd, Benitez mockingly removed his glasses and waved them in the air.

Benitez has until September 15 to respond to the FA charge.