It's a natural thing to do for a team that is leading and the Reds are well used to it - anybody wanting a lesson in how to squeeze the life out of a second half would be well served watching a re-run of the goalless draw in Galatasaray in 1993. It's funny that this blatant gamesmanship doesn't endure in the media like the 'Fergie time' myth. Even a 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.