Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suffered his “worst day as Manchester United manager” on Sunday as his side were humiliated 6-1 at home by Tottenham.
United scored first but were blown away by Spurs before and after Anthony Martial was sent off, as they suffered their joint worst Premier League loss.
The result leaves Solskjaer’s side in 16th place in the table.
“We have contributed a lot to our own downfall,” said Solskjaer, who played for the club before becoming manager.
“To explain now is quite difficult. We have been beaten 6-1 at home by a very good side.
“It is the worst day of my career as Manchester United manager and the worst day for all of them as United players.
“It is not the worst day in Manchester United history, we have bounced back before.”
The defeat brings with it a number of unwanted stats for United:
- Their joint-heaviest defeat in the Premier League – losing by five goals for the fourth time in the competition, and for the first time since a 6-1 defeat by Manchester City in October 2011.
- Defeat in their first two home games of a league campaign for just the fifth time in the club’s history, with 1986/87 being the previous occasion.
- Conceding six goals in a single Premier League game for only the third time – with each coming in October (1996 v Southampton, 2011 v Man City, today v Spurs).
- Tottenham become the first visiting side to score four first-half goals in a league game away at Manchester United since Spurs themselves also did so in November 1957 in a 4-3 win.
Striker Marcus Rashford tweeted after the game: “I’m proud to wear this shirt but there are no excuses, it’s just not good enough and to every single fan around the world that tuned in today, I’m just so sorry.
“You deserve so much better than that.”
‘If it was my son, I know what I’d tell him’
Bruno Fernandes put United ahead from the penalty spot, but Tottenham turned the game in their favour with goals from Tanguy Ndombele and Son Heung-min.
Martial’s red card for lashing out at Erik Lamela was followed soon after by a strike from Harry Kane before Spurs ran riot, with Son and Serge Aurier scoring before Kane added the sixth from the penalty spot.
“Sometimes you make mistakes, that’s part of life and we made too many mistakes in one game of football and that shows in the result,” said Solskjaer, who felt Martial deserved to be sent off but was also unhappy with the manner of Lamela’s reaction.
“The red card makes a lot of difference but Anthony Martial, well done for staying up when he was struck by the arm of Erik Lamela, you don’t react but he hit his throat with two fingers, gave him a little slap and Lamela must be having an operation. If that was my son, I know what I would tell him.
“Anthony knows he should not react like that, the good thing is he did not go down but if he did maybe the other lad would be sent off.
‘I was embarrassed to be on the pitch’
Manchester United captain Harry Maguire made an error that led to Tottenham’s first goal and his display earned him a rating of just 1.85 out of 10 by BBC Sport readers.
Along with Luke Shaw – who got 1.96 – they were the only players to get a rating lower than two.
It is the first time this season that there has been a rating lower than two for any player in any game in the Premier League.
Shaw, who was booked in the closing stages for an absurdly late challenge on Lucas Moura, admitted after the game that he felt embarrassed to be on the pitch.
“Manchester United shouldn’t lose in this manner,” he told Sky Sports.
“It really hurts, it’s embarrassing and we’ve let a lot of people down. We’ve let ourselves down and the staff down.
“It’s embarrassing. I was embarrassed on the pitch. We need a long hard look at ourselves.”
‘Shambolic’ and ‘no leadership’ – ex-players don’t hold back
BBC Radio 5 live pundit and former midfielder Robbie Savage questioned the lack of leadership and desire on the pitch and asked whether Maguire was up to the role of captaining the club.
“The desire to defend was non-existent, the organisation was non-existent – it was an absolute shambles,” he said.
“The United defence was out of shape and had no leadership – the goals that they conceded were so bad.
“Harry Maguire – a Manchester United captain? Seriously? He’s a good player but a Manchester United captain? It was schoolboy defending and there was little to no desire.”
Over on Sky Sports, the post-mortem was equally damning.
“I can’t believe we are where we are,” former Manchester United captain Gary Neville said.
“There’s no excuse for those players on that pitch because they were absolutely pathetic. Spineless in that second half.
“Manchester City and Liverpool pulled away psychologically before the season even started.”
Former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra played in the club’s last 6-1 defeat against Manchester City nine years ago.
He was a pundit on Sky Sports on Sunday and addressed the club’s current players directly on the programme, saying: “I know we talk about the 6-1 – it’s different.
“Make sure you realise you’re embarrassing the club. Look in the mirror and be honest – you’re an embarrassment.”
Never mind top four, it could be a close thing to stay up – what you said
United’s city rivals Manchester City could not resist getting involved on Twitter. City famously beat United 6-1 nine years ago…
Steve Rossiter: This is what you get for years of mismanagement top down to bottom. A manager that isn’t up to it, a squad that’s not capable, the club run as a way of providing money to the Glazers only. Never mind top 4, it could be a close thing to stay up.
Lee Jones: This club has been ruined from the top down. No sense of direction in the transfer market, no leadership on or off the pitch. A disgrace!
Andy: Ole lacking passion from the side, just like LvG. No direction or shouting at the players.
Neil: Anyone remind me of a big game Pogba performed in, anyone? Not close to world class player.
Jamie: I wonder if Cavani is watching this and thinking, I might give this team a miss!! Who’d blame him or any player, I’d stay clear of this shambolic board and management team.
And Maccabi Haifa tried to make United feel a bit better – the Israeli side were beaten 7-2 by Spurs in Europa League qualifying on Thursday…