Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer cut a sorry figure after his side was thrashed 4-1 by Watford on Saturday at Vicarage Road, Watford. The Norwegian, surrounded by players, held his hands up to the away fans and apologised for the team’s disappointing show that leaves them at the seventh rung of the Premier League table, behind Arsenal and the Wolves.
This was United’s fifth loss in their last seven Premier League games — the previous two coming to biggest rivals Liverpool and Manchester City.
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Ole started with Donny Van de Beek on the bench. The Dutchman was called on the field just after half-time and took only four minutes to score Manchester United’s only goal.
United captain Harry Maguire was then sent off for a second yellow card after a clumsy challenge in the 69th, with Ronaldo having an equalizer ruled out for offside shortly afterward. Watford then added two goals in injury time to complete the rout.
Ismaila Sarr missed two chances to convert an early penalty — both of them saved by David De Gea — after the first was retaken because of encroachment. Joshua King put Watford ahead in the 28th and Sarr made amends by netting the second just before the halftime break for Claudio Ranieri’s team.
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Solskjaer has been able to ride out previous stretches of underperformance, in part because of his popularity with fans — whose chants of “Ole’s at the wheel” used to be a display of confidence in the former striker’s ability to turn United back into a title challenger.
Arsenal icon Martin Keown was watching Solskjaer on the touchline and oticed how upset the United boss looked.
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“Looking at Solskjaer, he almost has tears in his eyes,” he said on BBC One.
“I am not trying to rub this in but he has that looks that says ‘when it rains it pours’. There was a look on his face where I thought, is this coming to an end?”
With inputs from the Associated Press