Gary Neville tore into Manchester United for “capitulating” after their 5-0 embarrassment at the hands of Liverpool and admitted the pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was now “intolerable”.
“This has been a monstrous day for Manchester United,” said Neville. “They have been obliterated. That was unacceptable.”
Solskjaer’s side were humiliated by their old foes as Liverpool stormed to a 4-0 lead at half-time – and Old Trafford further emptied as Mohamed Salah completed his hat-trick shortly after the restart.
Naby Keita had set the tone for a bruising afternoon with just five minutes on the clock, before Diogo Jota struck again inside the opening 15 minutes, and Sky Sports’ Neville said a result compounded by Paul Pogba’s red card shortly after his introduction from the bench would see Solskjaer take “an absolute battering”.
“The pressure after this game is going to be intolerable in some quarters,” the former Manchester United captain said on co-commentary during the Super Sunday thrashing.
“The board have made everyone aware that they are steadfast in their support of the manager and that he stays. Results like this undermine that, there’s no doubt. This is sobering.
“Manchester United need to change. I believe Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is going to get the opportunity to change. But there is going to be pressure from every source.”
Neville continued: “There’s no doubt the manager will get an absolute battering. There will be calls for his head like you wouldn’t believe but you wonder what this defeat will do to the players. How will they pick themselves up?
“There’s no hiding place after this. United are going to be absolutely demoralised. The next 24 hours is going to be as hot as it has ever been at this football club.”
Neville: ‘Sobering, torn to shreds, as bad as it gets…’
Neville quipped, “Can I go with them?” as he watched a mass exodus from United supporters long before the full-time whistle but reiterated his warning that the result had been coming.
“It’s been coming for five, six weeks,” he said. “This is what Manchester United’s performance levels have been like all season.
“As soon as they’ve come up against a good team, they’ve been torn to shreds and it’s told them exactly where they are at.
“This is as bad as it gets. It’s the nature of the performance. They have capitulated.
“They’ve lost everything today – discipline, organisation. But what stands out in my mind is their organisation around the press. Finding the trigger, not getting there half-hearted.
“City can press, Liverpool can press. Manchester United are kidding themselves today that they are a pressing team. They are all over the place.
“The manager and his coaching staff have to take the blame for the pressing game today. Why would you do that? They are not a pressing team. They haven’t got it in them. If you are going to press, put in Lingard and the others who can run all day.”
Jamie Carragher echoed Neville’s assessment with brutal simplicity, saying: “Manchester United are an absolute mess.”
Speaking after the game, Carragher added: “Can I believe what I’ve seen? No. And I’m not trying to be clever here but I don’t think Liverpool were at their absolute best in terms of possession. But whenever they got in and around Man Utd’s back four… that’s just a joke of a back four. They were a mess. Keystone Cops defending!”
Liverpool hit five – how humiliation unfolded…
United face a continued formidable set of fixtures, with Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and the Manchester derby looming domestically.
October 30: Tottenham (a) – Premier League, kick-off 5.30pm, live on Sky Sports
November 2: Atalanta (a) – Champions League, kick-off 8pm
November 6: Man City (h) – Premier League, kick-off 12.30pm, live on Sky Sports
November 20: Watford (a) – Premier League, kick-off 3pm
November 23: Villarreal (a) – Champions League, kick-off 5.45pm
November 28: Chelsea (a) – Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports
November 30: Arsenal (h) – Premier League, kick-off 8pm