Aston Villa kicked Cristiano Ronaldo all over the park on Saturday, reacting more and more dramatically every time one of their crunching challenges came in.

With ten minutes left to play, enough was enough for Ronaldo, and Ferguson was forced in to a substitution, with the Portuguese winger limping towards the tunnel.

As usual, he was on the receiving end of some foul treatment from the home fans, but as has become an increasing occasion for Ronaldo, he was unable to resist retaliation.

“I’m number one,” he said, tapping himself and holding up one finger. Surely the more accurate gesture would be to hold up three fingers, as he is the first, second and third best player in the World after all…

I’ve still not thawed where Ronaldo is concerned, so I’m maybe not going to give the fairest account of his behaviour at the moment. I am sure I am not alone in cringing when I think about his reaction to the Villa fans. Maybe this time a year ago his arrogance would have made me laugh, but at the moment, it just grates on me.

Ahead of United’s match with Villarreal, Sir Alex Ferguson has been asked whether Ronaldo should have shown more restraint where the Villa fans were concerned.

“Well, it depends on what side of the fence you are,” he said. “Having seen some of the criticism of Ronaldo, that he couldn’t take it on Saturday, I wonder how many of these people would be able to take it and keep walking down the street if someone was hitting them on a head with a baton. How many times can you take it? He’s a great player and he’s a target for the opposition fans. It’s not a problem for him.”

What do you make of it all?