Rio Ferdinand believes that referees are reluctant to give Manchester United penalties thanks to certain comments in the media.
The Red Devils were denied a penalty when Everton defender Phil Jagielka caught Danny Welbeck as the teenager rounded Tim Howard in Sunday's FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.
But to United's dismay referee Mike Riley, whose appointment in place of Steve Bennett had been questioned by Toffees boss David Moyes, waved away the protests to leave Sir Alex Ferguson fuming on the touchline.
Everton went on to win the game 4-2 on penalties after a goalless 120 minutes leaving Ferdinand to ponder what might have been.
"I don't know how the referee didn't give the penalty but that is the way it goes," he said.
"We don't get many penalties these days. Referees are reluctant to give them to us.
"Maybe they are being put under pressure by people in the media but that is the way it goes.
Not good enough
"We are not going to harp on about it because, in the end, we were not good enough in the penalty shoot-out.
"There was always going to come a day when you don't have a good time in that situation and this was it."
Meanwhile, Welbeck also expressed his disbelief that Riley failed to notice the contact from Jagielka just as he was bearing down on goal.
"I was barged on my left-hand side and as I went down I was caught on the leg as well," said Welbeck.
"I had no reason just to go down because if I had not been fouled I would have scored - I was round the keeper.
"I'm disappointed to lose. We should have won even without that penalty because we were the better team."
While Jagielka added: "I touched him, but I'm not sure how much that caused him to go down.
"Thankfully the penalty was not given. Maybe that was a bit of luck but we will take that."