The once mighty club suffered yet another embarrassing evening at Old Trafford, losing 2-0 to a Burnley side which had not won at the stadium since 1962.
Goals from Chris Wood and a spectacular effort Jay Rodriguez were enough to put the visitors in dreamland, but it was an all too familiar nightmare for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side which looked desperately shot of confidence.
The defeat was one thing, but the atmosphere in the ground was perhaps more telling of a club sinking to depths previously unknown.
Home fans booed their team off the pitch at the final whistle and chanted throughout the game for a change in the club’s hierarchy — with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward on the receiving end of much of vitriol.
Old Trafford, so used to seeing its side blow teams away in the 90s and early noughties, was almost empty but the time the embarrassment was over.
Solskjaer said he could “understand” why supporters were disappointed, but yet again called for unity during one of the most difficult periods in the club’s recent history.
However, the goodwill that has been afforded to the young manager is slowly dissipating and former United player Darren Fletcher, who won five league titles with the Reds, said things are getting worse.
“The scenes in the stadium weren’t good,” he told BBC Radio Five Live.
“The chanting, the atmosphere really turned toxic for the first time.”
United is now 30 points behind league leaders Liverpool having played two extra games and is six points away from the top four.
With qualification to the UEFA Champions League seemingly hanging by a thread, fans and pundits alike are questioning how the club is in such a bad state.
Since Solskjaer took over as the permanent manager in March 2018, United has lost more EPL games (12) than its won (11).
“I’m sitting here embarrassed. It’s embarrassing to be here,” former United captain Rio Ferdinand said on BT Sport.
“You can’t defend this. What has been invested? Young kids in schools around the country won’t be wearing Man United shirts, they’re not going to want to come here and support Man United based on what we’re seeing.
“It’s an embarrassment. People at the top need to look and see this and make changes, put a plan in place that people can sit there and see where we are going now. I don’t see it.”
Despite heavy investment, Solskjaer is working with a squad lacking in both depth and quality meaning business in the January transfer window is now a must.
This was made all the more obvious after star striker Marcus Rashford was ruled out for a number of weeks, meaning United only have the inconsistent Anthony Martial and the rookie Mason Greenwood as attacking options.
“The players are disappointed but they have given absolutely everything again,” Solskjaer said in his post-match press conference.
“We just have to stick to our values, stick to our beliefs and know there is no use feeling sorry for yourself.”
United next face either Watford or Tranmere in the FA Cup Sunday before heading to Manchester City for the second leg of its League Cup semifinal, which they trail 3-1.