Sir Alex Ferguson has accepted Paul Scholes' rash challenges as an unfortunate part of the Manchester United midfielder's otherwise outstanding game.
The Red Devils saw their Treble dreams ended with an FA Cup semi-final reverse at the hands of bitter rivals Manchester City at Wembley on Saturday.
Yaya Toure scored the only goal of the game before United's hopes of a comeback were badly dented when Scholes saw red for an ugly challenge on Pablo Zabaleta.
Ferguson admitted referee Mike Dean had no alternative other than to brandish the red card, but had no wish to condemn the mercurial 36-year-old, who could hang up his boots at the end of the season.
"Paul Scholes is capable of doing these things," said Ferguson.
"We have seen it before from him. He is a winner. He went in initially to get the ball. When it bounced up, he went too high.
"It has happened and we live with it because he has given us some great moments in his career."
Not the best
Not that Ferguson has much time to dwell as United head to Newcastle on Tuesday hoping to secure a victory that will consolidate their status as favourites to land a record 19th league title.
"At the moment we are thinking more about the loss but there are another two opportunities for some silverware and we have to make sure we take them," said goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar.
The veteran Dutchman was partly culpable for Toure's winner because of a poor clearance kick that was compounded by Michael Carrick's awful pass.
"It was not the best," admitted the veteran Dutchman.
Van der Sar, whose career will end without an FA Cup winners' medal, is not too concerned about United's present plight.
"I won't lose any sleep because I haven't won this one," said Van der Sar.
"As players we all have to take the blame. None of us performed to the standard required and we must make sure we do better on Tuesday.
"It is a team thing, not a personal problem. There are 22 guys and the coaching staff."