Manchester United’s demoralising end to the season continued with a damaging 2-0 derby defeat by Manchester City on Wednesday evening.
Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at how new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s hugely positive start of just one defeat in 17 games has unravelled alarmingly in the nine fixtures since.
Granit Xhaka’s long-range strike and a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang penalty ended Solskjaer’s unbeaten league start at the Emirates Stadium as the Gunners leapfrogged United into the top four.
Second-half goals from Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota meant it was Wolves and not misfiring United who progressed to the FA Cup semi-finals with Marcus Rashford’s late strike providing scant consolation.
Two days after being appointed as manager on a permanent basis, Solskjaer watched his side labour to victory over Watford as goals from Rashford and Anthony Martial proved decisive despite Abdoulaye Doucoure’s late effort.
"We’ve just got to look forward and dust ourselves down. It was a disappointing result but a good performance." #MUFC— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 2, 2019
United slipped to their second defeat at Molineux inside 17 days when Scott McTominay’s opener was cancelled out by Jota and then overhauled by Chris Smalling’s own goal after Ashley Young had been sent off.
Luke Shaw’s own goal left his side with a mountain to climb in their Champions League quarter-final with Barcelona after a tight encounter at Old Trafford.
Two Paul Pogba penalties, the second of them with just 10 minutes remaining, secured an unconvincing win over the Hammers, for whom Felipe Anderson had earlier levelled.
A bloodied Lionel Messi killed off any hope of a comeback at the Nou Camp with two goals before the break to set the stage for Philippe Coutinho to complete the damage with a wonder-strike.
"We know we let the fans and the club down."
More from the #MUFC boss:— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 21, 2019
United’s plight deepened in spectacular style when they succumbed to first-half goals from Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson before Lucas Digne and Theo Walcott heaped on the humiliation after the break.
Despite looking composed and organised during the first half at a rain-soaked Old Trafford, United’s defence was breached by Bernardo Silva after the break and Leroy Sane was soon on target, too.
- Press Association