Liverpool, Spurs, Sevilla, MK Dons: Man Utd’s most embarrassing defeats since Fergie left

Liverpool, Spurs, Sevilla, MK Dons: Man Utd’s most embarrassing defeats since Fergie left

The surrender to Sevilla slips in to the growing list of Man Utd’s biggest embarrassments since Fergie left. It was bad, but not Anfield bad. Or even Brighton or Brentford bad.

Here’s how we’ve ranked the worst defeats since David Moyes took over in 2013. No Jose Mourinho, and conceding six in the derby doesn’t make the top 10…

10) Man Utd 1-4 Manchester City – 2013/14 There was so much dross in such a short reign while David Moyes was United manager. Losing at home to West Brom, Everton and Newcastle before Christmas; being turned over by Liverpool and City at Old Trafford after the New Year; the Champions League sh*tshow at Olympiacos. But the first sign of major problems came early in his reign when the reigning champions went to the Etihad and were humped by their derby rivals.

United had already lost to Liverpool when they went across Manchester for the fifth Premier League game of Moyes’ tenure. A team featuring Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney were two down at half-time before conceding another couple early in the second half. Moyes had to be thankful that Manuel Pellegrini’s men seemed to take mercy on them, taking their foot off the gas, with United’s consolation coming from a stunning Rooney free-kick. Moyes demanded a reaction; they lost at home to West Brom the following week.

What Moyes said:

“I’ve made the players aware of how I expect them to respond. If there was any group of players I would expect that from it would be Manchester United players. It is the way they have been brought up. Every manager has bad days and bad results and I’m no different. I’ve been here with Everton many times and I don’t think I have ever suffered a defeat like this.”

9) MK Dons 4-0 Manchester United – 2014/15 Louis van Gaal made a miserable start to his United reign. He lost the first Premier League game at home to Swansea and drew the next two at Sunderland and Burnley. Between those draws, he took United to Milton Keynes for the club’s first League Cup second-round tie in 19 years.

They were battered by the League One side. They didn’t manage a shot on target until the 72nd minute by which time they were 3-0 down. Defeat to a side which cost less than half a million to assemble came on the same day it was announced they had signed Angel di Maria for £60million. It’s hard to fathom which was the biggest disaster.

What Van Gaal said:

“Of course I’m disappointed, but I can analyse this. I am not shocked because I know what can happen, and I think also that Milton Keynes played very well, very aggressively, and they had also a little bit of luck. It’s very difficult when you start as manager in the Premier League with a home match loss and after that a draw and then lose a cup match, then for the fans it is very difficult to believe, still believe, in the philosophy of Louis van Gaal. But you have to do that, you have to do that, because I am here to build a new team, and a new team is not built in one month.”

8) Sevilla 3-0 Manchester United – 2022/23 It wasn’t just this second leg – United caved in during the final moments of their first leg, letting slip a two-goal lead that ought to have been bigger. If that was a warning, the Red Devils did not heed it. They were swept aside in Spain, with Sevilla simply more up for the fight on a night that should end Old Trafford careers.

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What Ten Hag said:

“It’s clear, when we make such mistakes, it’s very difficult to win a football game. It’s obvious [the atmosphere may have had an impact] but it can’t be. The fans can expect that we can deal with it. I won’t say that’s an explanation for it. We were not composed, we were not calm. Once you beat the press there are huge spaces on the pitch but we didn’t do it at the start. It was so obvious how to do it. Bad decisions. And also we lose the battles. They had more passion, more desire, more willingness. For example the second goal. Then it’s difficult to win big football games. We showed on so many occasions good performances and good wins. But tonight and some occasions more, we were not ready for the game and it can’t be. When you’re at this level and playing for Man Utd you have to be ready for every game.”

What we said: De Gea and Maguire top the bill in an astonishing Man Utd disasterclass in Sevilla

Sevilla vs Man Utd

7) Everton 4-0 Manchester United – 2018/19 “Some of them won’t be here next year,” was the warning Ole Gunnar Solskjaer issued to his Man Utd players after Marco Silva’s side crushed their spirits without getting out of second gear, imposing a sixth defeat in eight games. They all were. David de Gea, Diogo Dalot, Fred, Marcus Rashford, Victor Lindelof, Phil Jones and Anthony Martial started that day. United fans took to ironic cheers upon their team completing a pass after they were four down inside 64 minutes.

What Solskjaer said:

“We were beaten on all aspects today. The only place we beat Everton – I can’t say we beat them – but we had a fantastic support and I just want to apologise for the performance we turned out. We can turn it around. In football, like in life, things can change quickly. We have got to change it from bad to good… Everyone here can say with hands on hearts that’s not good enough – not worthy of a Manchester United team. We know that and apologise again to fans.”

What we said: Early Loser: ‘Man Utd Way’ shown up by Everton

6) Watford 4-1 Manchester United – 2021/22 Less than a month from being battered at home by Liverpool and a fortnight after City taught them another lesson, Watford proved to be Solskjaer’s last stand, the United legend able to cling on no more after a thumping defeat to Claudio Ranieri’s relegation fodder. The Red Devils were in the game at only 2-1 down entering added time, though they were also a man down after one of Harry Maguire’s many moments saw him dismissed with 20 minutes to go. Two goals in stoppage time added some gloss for the Hornets, who also missed an early penalty, but United were abject throughout.

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What Solskjaer said:

“The first half is the worst we’ve played and it’s hard for me to explain why we played the way we did and allowed them to get in our box from nothing. We were outfought. I am very hurt – when you play in the Premier League you have got to turn up against good players and good opposition like this. The boys are in a terrible place in their heads now – we have let ourselves down and the fans down. It’s hard to stand here and explain that but that’s football and we have to take the flak for it.”

What we said: F365 Says: Cruel for Man Utd to make Solskjaer suffer on

5) Brighton 4-0 Manchester United – 2021/22 United players had long since stopped listening to Ralf Rangnick by the time they went to Brighton in the caretaker manager’s penultimate game in charge. A 4-0 defeat, all the goals coming inside the first hour, confirmed that the Red Devils would finish outside the top four and achieve their worst points total in Premier League history. It was also their fifth consecutive away defeat in the league, their worst run on the road since 1981.

What Rangnick said:

“Yes it was the worst performance in my time here, from the first to the last minute. Not enough in all important areas. We were second best. We can only apologise to the supporters. It was a terrible performance and a humiliating defeat.”

What we said: Early Loser: the worst Manchester United team in Premier League history

4) Manchester United 1-6 Tottenham – 2020/21 Fair play to Jose Mourinho because he just about kept a lid on his smugness after returning to Old Trafford and battering his former side. United led with a second-minute penalty from Bruno Fernandes but quickly caved in. They were four down at half-time – Luke Shaw and Maguire were particularly abysmal – and down to 10 men after Anthony Martial saw red, before Serge Aurier and Harry Kane added another couple after the break. The shambles left United in 16th place after losing their first two home games for the first time since 1986/87.

What Solskjaer said:

“It’s very embarrassing, it hurt all the players. It hurts me as the manager. It’s my worst day ever. I’ll hold my hands up, I’m responsible for this. I’ve lost 5-0 with United and we’ve lost 6-1. We’ve lost big results before and always bounced back. I promise we’ll do everything we can to turn this around. We know how good they can be but today all our mistakes came almost like Christmas everything at once and if you make too many mistakes against a good team and you’ll be punished.”

What we said: Man Utd 1-6 Tottenham: 16 Conclusions

3) Brentford 4-0 Manchester United – 2022/23 United had already lost to Brighton in Erik ten Hag’s first game in charge but if that didn’t highlight the scale of the job ahead for the new manager, a spineless surrender at Brentford certainly did. United were 4-0 down inside 35 minutes in the west London sunshine, with David de Gea’s performance particularly catastrophic. Upon seeing that his new players had run 13.8km less than their hosts, he dragged them back into Carrington the following day and sent them out to make up the deficit.

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What Ten Hag said:

“It’s naive, how we played today, you have to play more direct. We said: invite them in [to press] and play long. We attracted them, the space was high on the pitch and we had to choose that option. That’s what we couldn’t do. It’s no good, definitely. That’s not the standard on how we want to act. You can have a plan, but we put the plan in the bin. It’s nothing to do with tactical – the first two goals. It’s about dealing with the ball. That’s one. And two, decisions. They followed my instructions but they made bad decisions. That’s football, it’s a game of mistakes and we got punished.”

What we said: Early loser: The unsavable, braindead Man Utd, already killing off another manager

2) Manchester United 0-5 Liverpool – 2021/22 Liverpool fans voted this their best ever Premier League game, though that was before an even bigger rout of their rivals. For United, it was an abject afternoon, Solskjaer’s worst, with United 4-0 down at half-time. Solskjaer threw on Paul Pogba at the break – he waited all of 15 minutes before getting himself sent off. In the end, with Liverpool scoreless through the last 40 minutes, the Red Devils got off lightly.

What Solskjaer said:

“I have come too far to give up. I am not built that way. The feeling we have had is we were getting where we wanted to be but in the last few weeks results haven’t come and we have hit a brick wall. We have conceded too many easy goals and that is a concern. I am still thinking about tomorrow’s work, we are all low. This is the lowest I have been but I accept the responsibility, that is mine and mine going forward.”

What we said: 16 Conclusions: Manchester United 0-5 Liverpool

1) Liverpool 7-0 Manchester United – 2022/23 Perhaps not the worst performance in the decade since Fergie, particularly in the first half, but arguably their worst result ever. To cave in and concede seven to Liverpool – this season’s Liverpool – is unforgivable.

What Ten Hag said:

“I think we played a decent first half. One mistake in organisation just before half-time. Second half it was just not us. It was not our standards. We didn’t play as a team. It was unprofessional. Yes, I am angry. Definitely. I am surprised because I have seen the last weeks and months this team is resilient and has a winning attitude. Second half we didn’t have a winning attitude at all. We didn’t stick to the plan and we didn’t do our jobs. We didn’t track back and it was really unprofessional. We have seen in the past we can bounce back. After Brentford, after Manchester City. This is definitely a strong setback and is unacceptable. I’m really disappointed and angry about it.”

What we said: 16 Conclusions on Liverpool 7 (SEVEN) Man Utd 0: Salah, Fernandes, Gakpo, Shaw, Nunez and…