If last weekend’s defeat at home by Brighton served as a warning for Manchester United and their new manager Erik ten Hag, then Saturday’s embarrassing loss at Brentford will have sent alarm bells into overdrive.
The Red Devils’ first away match of the new campaign ended in a sobering 4-0 reverse , which leaves the Red Devils without a point – and bottom of the league – after two games and desperately searching for answers.
BBC Sport expert Chris Sutton believes United may have “hit rock bottom”, Sky Sports pundit Karen Carney said the situation “can’t get any lower” for Ten Hag and his players, and Gary Neville said the club’s owners are overseeing a “collective rot”.
Former England striker Alan Shearer told BBC Match of the Day: “It is an absolute mess. Years of failure, years of mismanagement. There is a lack of leadership and the recruitment has been terrible.
“It will take time and an unbelievable amount of money to get things right, and a lot of patience from the Manchester United fans. They are miles away from where there want to be.”
So just how bad is the situation at Old Trafford? BBC Sport takes a closer look.
‘Bullied, mauled and messed about with’
If United’s travelling fans were hoping for a fast start from their team in response to last Saturday’s loss to Brighton, they were left disappointed.
The Red Devils fell behind after just 10 minutes in west London, Josh Dasilva’s long-range shot somehow squirming underneath goalkeeper David de Gea, and eight minutes later Mathias Jensen capitalised on De Gea’s poor pass to double the Bees’ lead with a cool finish.
Ben Mee nodded Brentford further in front, before Bryan Mbeumo latched on to a long ball to put the hosts 4-0 up after just 35 minutes.
Sky Sports pundit and former captain Neville did not mince his words at full-time, telling viewers: “We are witnessing the annihilation of Manchester United.
“I thought United would do better but they have been mauled, bullied, messed about with like you wouldn’t believe, and there’s nowhere to hide.
“I have been watching United for 42 years and I can’t think of a moment when I have thought things have been as bad as that in the first half.”