Sir Alex Ferguson has been left reeling by the news Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes must serve three-match bans following their dismissals in the pre-season tournament in Amsterdam earlier this month.
The Manchester United chief was convinced the pair would be freed from suspension once the club's appeal had been heard by an independent disciplinary commission.
But the commission yesterday upheld the decisions of referee Ruud Bossen, who sent Rooney off for violent conduct, and Scholes for serious foul play, during the win over Porto.
It means Rooney and Scholes will each be banned for three matches against Charlton Athletic, Watford and Tottenham Hotspur, although they will be eligible for the season's opener against Fulham on Sunday.
United refused to comment last night but will be seething after they had expected the players' punishments would be downgraded to bookable offences.