Manchester United slumped to a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa on Saturday lunchtime, conceding late to a Kortney Hause header.
United struggled to get going under a disciplined display from Dean Smith's Villa side, who came into the fixture fresh from comfortably beating an in-form Everton last weekend. Alarmingly, the defeat at Old Trafford now marks their third in four fixtures, only broken up by a win against West Ham, who gained revenge on Tuesday in the Carabao Cup.
It could have been different for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men, who were awarded a penalty in the dying embers after the goalscorer Hause was adjudged to have handled the ball inside his box. Unfortunately for United fans, Bruno Fernandes missed the penalty by blazing over the bar, an uncharacteristic turn of events for a player who is notorious for his confidence from 12 yards.
After the penalty was awarded, the Villa players crowded around the penalty spot to delay Fernandes, who was clearly affected by the efforts of those in white shirts.
United players engaged in the pushing and shoving with the referee otherwise occupied, not least with Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, who was winding up Cristiano Ronaldo. The Argentine number one was seen asking and gesturing the 36-year-old to take the penalty, appearing surprised that Fernandes had pulled rank.
Martinez's efforts bothered Fernandes, who now might be wondering whether he will have the opportunity to take another penalty. Somewhat surprisingly, Fernandes has a better record from the spot than his compatriot. Still, Ronaldo's experience of delivering in the most significant moments had United fans bemused as to why Solskjaer had not called on his number.
And the Norwegian vented his frustration at the efforts of the likes of Martinez, whom he believed acted inappropriately before and after the missed spot-kick.
Solskjaer said: "I wasn't going to mention it, but it's not right that they do that. I guess that should be a yellow card for someone, but they have achieved what they wanted.
"The way they get around the penalty spot, get around Bruno… that's not to my liking."
Roles were reversed from last weekend, with United being offered a get out of jail card after David de Gea saved a late penalty from Mark Noble. That save was the first penalty the 45-time Spain international had made for United in 40 attempts since last saving a Romelu Lukaku spot-kick in 2016.