Manchester United sank to their lowest point under the management of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as they were played off the park by Watford in a 4-1 loss.
David De Gea came to his side’s rescue yet again, saving Ismaila Sarr’s eighth minute penalty, which then bizarrely had to be retaken due to encroachment from a Watford player who fired in the rebound.
However, the Spaniard saved Sarr’s retaken effort, giving United a fighting chance in the game, but it wasn’t long before all hope was lost.
Josh King scored the opener inside half an hour and Sarr finally found the back of the net just before halftime, both efforts receiving minimal resistance from the United defence.
Donny Van de Beek scored his second goal for the club five minutes after entering the field as a substitute, but the goal proved nothing more than a consolation.
A Harry Maguire red card just about summed his performances up this term, and late goals from Joao Pedro and Emmanuel Dennis cemented a miserable afternoon.
Here are three things we learnt from the game.
Worst half of football post Fergie
Manchester United’s first half performance against Watford was nothing short of a disgrace from start to finish.
Its one thing to be dominated by a Manchester City or a Liverpool, two of the best teams in world football, but to be outclassed by a team fighting relegation should be the final straw.
Watford accumulated an xG (expected goals) of 2.0 in the first 45 minutes alone, with the away side managing just two attempts in total and an xG of 0.46.
Watford’s highest xG in the Premier League this season:
🥇 3.2 vs. Everton
🥈 2.0 vs. Man Utd (half-time)
🥉 1.9 vs. Norwich City
Enjoying themselves. 😳 pic.twitter.com/JP8N03RZPB
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) November 20, 2021
Claudio Ranieri’s side hadn’t scored in four of their last five games prior to United coming to town, on form alone United are one of the worst teams in the Premier League.
Harry Maguire started the week breaking England’s all time scoring record for a defender, he ended it getting two yellow cards in another disastrous performance for his club.
As United captain he faces a large amount of scrutiny from fans, journalists and ex-players and as his form this season has deteriorated, the abuse has only got louder.
Some of the criticism he receives is unwarranted, Roy Keane’s rant following his England goal for example, but its becoming harder and harder to defend the 28-year-old.
The man that pulls on the shirt for England and the man we see week in week out for United look completely different, he’s gone through tough spells at United before, but this is a particular low point.
Mood around the club
In terms of on-field performances, this is as bad as United have been since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
There doesn’t seem to be any plan, any shape or any identity and this is apparent in performances and results this season.
Realistically Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s job was untenable after the 5-0 loss to Liverpool, the last few games have only achieved widespread hatred for the Norwegian.
The board have hung him out to dry, clearly out of his depth and with no chance of turning things around, the mood around the club is now nearing the toxic mess we saw in the latter stages of Jose Mourinho’s reign.
The board and players deserve as much criticism as Solskjaer, his time at the club is surely over, but United’s issues will always remain with the current ownership in place.