former player, Mark Hughes, had a moan about the subject when Michael Owen scored a few seconds after the minimum amount of added time in the 4-3 derby, although this was later proved to be correct due to a substitution and City's celebrations that followed Craig Bellamy's leveller.
Maybe the award of a last-gasp penalty to Chelsea in the recent Capital One Cup tie, that ultimately denied United a place in the quarter-finals of the competition, came when time should have been up. It happens. That's football and, again, the fourth official signals the minimum amount of time to be played not the maximum.
When Sir Alex criticised the fact that less than four and half minutes were added in the home defeat to Tottenham, the media by and large had a field day in accusing him of sour grapes. Ignoring the fact that he had a point, why is this a topic that is continually used to beat United with?
Football has never been more about entertainment - it's all we ever hear about these days with blanket TV coverage. Some fans feel they have the right to boo at half-time if their side hasn't graced the occasion with a goal. Yet an argument that time-wasting should result in extra play, more football for your money, is somehow derided as seeking good fortune at best and promoting cheating at worst.
Referee Friend acknowledged he had stopped his watch when Guzan was deliberating over goal-kicks. Five separate substitutions took place in the second half at Villa Park. Four goals were scored. So five minutes were the least we could have expected. The official got it spot on but, if the scores had still been 2-2 with the visitors pushing for a winner, I'm pretty sure that same old line about 'Fergie time' would have been trotted out.
Still, conspiracy theories seem to go with the territory with United. As Wayne Rooney hobbled off, clearly injured, with the scores level, it was hinted on TV that it was a tactical withdrawal to allow him to miss England's friendly in Sweden. Chasing a winner to ensure his side could remain top of the table into the international mini-break, I'm pretty sure Sir Alex's first thought was to lose one of