Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said it was the worst day of his time as Manchester United manager after they fell to a shocking 6-1 defeat to Tottenham.
Despite taking the lead early on through a Bruno Fernandes penalty, United soon found themselves behind, and eventually capitulated to suffer a huge defeat.
It is only the third time United have conceded six goals in a single Premier League game, and has immediately led to several questions about the club’s ambitions.
There was nowhere to hide for Solskjaer after the game, and the United boss admitted it was hard to explain what had happened.
“It is the worst day of my career as Manchester United manager and the worst day for all of them as United players,” he told BBC Sport.
“It is not the worst day in Manchester United history, we have bounced back before.
“To explain now is quite difficult. We have been beaten 6-1 at home by a very good side but we have contributed a lot to our own downfall.
“I know the boys wanted to and they made an effort but making mistakes, everyone makes mistakes and today we made loads in the same game. That shows in the result.
“We have to address what we have. The players there are better than what we are showing and we have to come out fighting as a group. Any transfer updates, the window closes tomorrow night, then we will know.”
Solskjaer reacts to defensive issues
However, their performance at the back against Spurs suggested there is another area of need before the window closes on Monday.
Solskjaer insisted that the entire team had to take responsibility for their poor defending, though, refusing to commit to whether or not they need a new centre-back.
“We defend as a team, from the front,” he told Sky Sports. “Whoever we are linked with doesn’t mean it is true. We need as a group to get a performance as they were after the restart. We were a good defensive team. But we can’t be as open as we are today.
“It is not about getting players in but who is here. Today is the worst. I can’t say any more than that. When you are 2-1 down you are in with a chance. 3-1 a minute later is hard. At 4-1 down it is about character and personality.
“We had to close their avenues to goal but we didn’t come out with any aggression. There are a lot of wrongs today. We need to look at everything.”
Solskjaer unimpressed by red card incident
Things weren’t made easier for United when Anthony Martial was sent off in the first half for making contact with Erik Lamela’s face.
Lamela also made contact with Martial beforehand, but only the Frenchman saw red after the Tottenham winger went down.
Solskjaer refused to use it as an excuse, but was not impressed by Lamela’s behaviour.
“After 2-1 we were still in the game after the red card everything went wrong,” he explained. “You don’t win games by making individual mistakes, errors and a performance like that.
“When we get the start we did you think you have the game how you wanted. But you make bad decisions and then you’re two or three down. It is embarrassing, I hold my hand up, it is my fault. It is not Manchester United.
“The red is no excuse. The boy might be having an operation on his throat though! It is a bad reaction from Anthony. But if that (Lamela) was one of my players I’d hang him out to dry going down like that. He shouldn’t react like that.
“It’s nowhere near good enough. When you have a defeat like this you have to look yourself in the mirror. They are going away on international duty and that the ones that stay have time to work. That is hard as we need to get together and battle.”