Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s job was hanging by a thread after 10-man Manchester United slumped to an “embarrassing” 4-1 defeat against Watford on Saturday.
United’s fifth defeat in seven Premier League matches ramps up the pressure on the Norwegian manager to extreme levels as club bosses decide whether to pull the plug on his reign.
They were out-fought and out-thought by Claudio Ranieri’s feisty Watford side, who came into the match after losing four out of their past five league games.
Watford dominated the first half and thoroughly deserved their two-goal lead at half-time, courtesy of goals from Joshua King and Ismaila Sarr.
The visitors pulled a goal back early in the second period through substitute Donny van de Beek but could not find an equaliser and captain Harry Maguire was sent off with just over 20 minutes to go.
Substitute Joao Pedro finished off United’s hopes with a late third and Emmanuel Dennis rubbed salt into Solskjaer’s wounds.
But a defiant Solskjaer said he still believed in his ability to turn things around at the beleaguered club.
Vicarage Road was gripped by early drama when referee Jonathan Moss pointed to the penalty spot in the sixth minute after United midfielder Scott McTominay bundled King over in the box.
Sarr’s weak penalty was saved by the Spaniard but Kiko Femenia fired in the rebound only to see his goal ruled out by VAR for encroachment into the box.
Sarr retook the kick but De Gea again saved to keep the score goalless.
Watford looked the more dangerous side as the half wore on, with United struggling to establish any semblance of control.