Manchester United scrambled to victory against Fulham at Old Trafford to open up a three-point lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League.
Wayne Rooney's 28th goal of the season proved enough for the hosts.
Sir Alex Ferguson was clearly not impressed though and his side were nearly made to pay the ultimate price for their profligacy when Michael Carrick bundled Danny Murphy over in the box a minute from time but 27-year-old referee Michael Oliver waved away the penalty claims.
Having witnessed title rivals Manchester City drop points at Stoke on Saturday, Ferguson had gone for the jugular with his team selection.
Five offensive players and two naturally overlapping full-backs was a ploy designed to push Fulham onto the back foot, and so it did as Rooney and Ryan Giggs threatened the visitors' goal.
Their play was not fluent though. A long-range Danny Welbeck shot and a penalty appeal for handball against Stephen Kelly was the best they could muster until Rooney struck.
Rooney ducked under Ashley Young's cross when he seemed better placed to convert than Jonny Evans behind him. John Arne Riise should have cleared but it seemed the Norwegian was surprised by Rooney's move and he failed to control, allowing Evans to slide in. The Northern Irishman had the presence of mind to find Rooney instead of going for goal himself from an acute angle.
United came close to bagging a brilliant second goal just after the interval.
Setting off on a charge from deep inside his own half, Antonio Valencia exchanged passes with Rooney on halfway before squaring to Ryan Giggs and running onto the veteran Welshman's chipped return. Now Valencia was bearing down on the Fulham goal but Mark Schwarzer stayed strong and made the save.
Normally content to watch proceedings from the dug-out, Ferguson was clearly agitated and unimpressed by his side's performance.
The Scot really would have been furious had Oliver awarded a penalty for Carrick's tackle from behind on Murphy in the final minute, which TV replays showed he had every right to do.
Fulham manager Martin Jol believes Oliver would have been a brave man if he had given a late penalty.
Jol felt he was in the minority who would have thought he had made the right decision.
Asked if it was a penalty, Jol told Sky Sports 1: "I thought it was a difficult decision.
"I think if he had given the penalty he would have had to send Michael Carrick off.
"I think everyone in the stadium expected a penalty to be honest.
"You have to be brave to give a penalty away at Man Utd."
Manchester United - Pld 30 Pts 73 GD +47
Apr 2 - Blackburn A
Apr 8 - QPR H
Apr 11 - Wigan A
Apr 15 - Aston Villa H
Apr 22 - Everton H
Apr 30 - Manchester City A
May 6 - Swansea H
May 13 - Sunderland A
Manchester City - Pld 30 Pts 70 GD +50
Mar 31 - Sunderland H
Apr 8 - Arsenal A
Apr 11 - West Brom H
Apr 14 - Norwich A
Apr 22 - Wolves A
Apr 30 - Manchester United H
May 6 - Newcastle A
May 13 - QPR H