The most gruelling and intense English Premier League football season appears to be catching up with Manchester United's misfiring players.
It may yet cost them a place in next season's Champions League.
There were worrying signs in United's third straight 0-0 draw, this time in the fog at Crystal Palace today. Bruno Fernandes was sloppy in possession, Harry Maguire and Marcus Rashford exchanged angry words in the second half and — maybe most alarming of all — there was never any sign of the kind of late onslaught for which United teams down the years have been renowned.
Perhaps it is no surprise that United, who are now 14 points behind Manchester City in what is becoming a procession to the title, are running out of steam.
Due to their involvement in the Europa League and going deep in both domestic cups, United have played games every midweek in this condensed, pandemic-affected season, except for during international breaks. A last-16 double header against AC Milan in the Europa League is coming up over the following two weeks, and before that a Manchester derby on Monday.
No wonder energy levels seem to be down and there's no attacking spark in Solskjaer's side.
"It has been a long season," Solskjaer said after United's sixth 0-0 draw in the league, the most of any team this season.
There are more than two months left of it, more than enough time for United to lose their spot in the Premier League's top four if they're not careful.
The same applies to third-place Leicester, who were held 1-1 at relegation-threatened Burnley yesterday and might also be feeling the effects of an arduous season that has included a Europa League campaign, too.
United and Leicester have won just five of their last 16 league games combined and they are giving their top-four rivals a big opportunity to reel them in.
West Ham, Chelsea, Liverpool and Everton are all within eight points and have games in hand, while Tottenham and Arsenal should not be discounted.
Leicester recovered from conceding a goal in the fourth minute to Matej Vydra, with Kelechi Iheanacho volleying in the equaliser in the 34th.
Elsewhere, Sheffield United's players aren't leaving the Premier League without a fight.
Chris Wilder's last-place team held on after a 57th-minute red card to veteran centre back Phil Jagielka to beat Aston Villa 1-0.
"We're all still fighting for our future and for this club," said striker David McGoldrick, who scored the winner from close range in the 30th minute.
With 11 games left, Sheffield United are 12 points from safety so securing a third straight season in the top flight of English football remains highly unlikely at this stage of the season.