Manchester United's ailing title hopes suffered a hammer blow with a 1-0 defeat at Newcastle on Sunday.
Matt Ritchie's bullet of a strike in the 65th minute sealed a vital three points for the Magpies in their battle for Premier League survival.
Yet, all the focus was on the implications for United.
As it stands, Manchester City could win the title in the derby against them on April 7, and it doesn't get much worse for the Red Devils than that.
Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic were on the receiving end of Jose Mourinho's acid tongue in the aftermath of the game at St James' Park, as he hit out at two of his players for not jumping up for the free-kick that led to Ritchie's goal.
If you were to ask Joey Barton, however, just as Alan Brazil did on talkSPORT, United's problems run much deeper than individual errors.
There are two men the former Premier League midfielder thinks are the problem, and he didn't hold back in his assessment of Mourinho and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
Barton hits out
Discussing Mourinho, he explained:
"I don't think he fits, I don't think he's the right fit for him.
"I don't think the United fans - every time there's a negative performance, a negative result - United fans: 'this isn't the United way, we don't play like this, he's not our kind of manager'.
"I don't think he's done anything to endear himself with the United faithful, I don't think it's a perfect fit."
When the host pointed out the Portuguese recently signed a new contract, Barton added:
"Ed Woodward, the chief executive's a space cadet. The fact he's got himself in a Dutch auction and given [Alexis] Sanchez the money he's given Sanchez.
"I think they pay over the top all the time for players. I think if it was David Gill, that regime, the attraction of playing for Man United was the big thing.
'It's going to end in tears'
"Whereas now, they're just outspending. They're like the Lotto Lads, they're like Michael Carroll...just outspending everybody.
"If they don't sort it out quickly I think it's going to end in tears for them because they're so far behind the side on the opposite side of the city, not in terms of as a football club...but in terms of the performance.
"You can't see City not spending in the next window...I think Man United are playing keepy-up and they have been since Sir Alex Ferguson left the job."
Following Sanchez's arrival in January, United's transfer policy is firmly under the spotlight.
In truth, it has been throughout Woodward's reign, and it's not just Barton who has started to notice it.
Do you agree with Barton's comments? Have your say below.
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