Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s job is hanging on by a thread after Manchester United suffered a humiliating 4-1 defeat to Watford, with Harry Maguire sent off at Vicarage Road.
The Red Devils succumbed to their third defeat in four Premier League outings as pressure was heaped on the Norwegian, whose side dropped down to seventh in the top-flight and five points off the Champions League spots following a chastening loss on the road.
Solskjaer’s near three-year stint at Old Trafford may well come to an end now, with Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers and former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane strongly tipped for the hotseat in recent weeks.
Ismaila Sarr made amends after having two penalties saved by David de Gea as he slotted home before half time following Josh King’s 25th minute opener to put the hosts in control.
Donny van de Beek – who had played just 16 minutes of Premier League action prior to coming on after half time – gave United a lifeline by heading home from Cristiano Ronaldo’s smart header.
But any hope of a Red Devils comeback was extinguished when Harry Maguire was dealt his marching orders with 20 minutes to go before Joao Pedro and Emmanuel Dennis hit late goals to seal a stunning 4-1 victory – Claudio Ranieri’s first win at Vicarage Road.
Maguire’s mindless sending off was perhaps symbolic of the the Red Devils’ shambolic predicament.
The 28-year-old clattered into Tom Cleverley for his second booking in a matter of minutes in what was a reckless challenge from the England international.
United’s task of finding an equaliser was made twice as hard following his dismissal but Ronaldo thought he saved the day again by tapping home into an empty net, before being ruled offside.
Pedro sealed the victory for Watford in injury time before Dennis got in one act with seconds remaining.
Bruno Fernandes was spotted angrily confronting United’s away support as chants of ‘sacked in the morning’ directed at Solskjaer rang around the stadium.
Having spent almost half a billion in his time at United, the defeat at Vicarage Road may well prove to be the final straw for the Old Trafford hierarchy.