Manchester United’s hopes of Champions League football next season suffered another huge blow as Everton romped to a 4-0 win at Goodison Park on Sunday.
A sixth defeat in eight games in all competitions for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men means they remain two points adrift of the top four in sixth and trigger questions about the form of the team.
Everton, chasing seventh, which could provide a route into next season’s Europa League, made a flying start as Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson struck inside the first 28 minutes.
Lucas Digne’s sweet strike and Theo Walcott’s goal completed Everton’s biggest win over United since 1984.
United could easily fall five points off the Champions League places should Arsenal beat Crystal Palace at home later on Sunday and Chelsea win when they host Burnley on Monday.
After suffering their third consecutive PL away defeat for the first time since 1996, Man Utd remain sixth, two points behind fifth-placed Chelsea.
Solskjaer’s task in turning United’s fortunes around does not get any easier as title-chasing Manchester City visit Old Trafford on Wednesday.
Solskjaer Sorry After ‘Unworthy’ United’s Loss To Everton
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer apologised to the club’s supporters for an “unworthy” 4-0 loss away to Everton on Sunday that did fresh damage to their hopes of Champions League football next season.
Goals from Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Lucas Digne and Theo Walcott saw United suffer their sixth defeat in eight games in all competitions, with the lacklustre manner of this latest reverse a cause for concern.
“From the first whistle everything went wrong,” Solskjaer told Sky Sports.
“I just want to apologise to the fans. They’re the only people with the badge on today who can hold their heads high, because we can’t.”
The former United striker added: “Everton were better than us at all the basics. There are so many things that we need to do better to get a result. Talent has never been enough.
“We just didn’t perform. That was not worthy of a Manchester United team. We hold our hands up and apologise to everyone associated with the club. We have a perfect chance to make amends on Wednesday (against Manchester City).”
Gary Neville, a former United team-mate of Solsjkaer has long been critical of the club’s hierarchy for the way in which a succession of managers have come and gone since Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
But that did not stop him sparing the “rancid” team on Sunday.
“The United players, it’s embarrassing watching some of them out there today,” Neville said.
“I’m absolutely furious. Full belief in Ole to do what he needs to do, the club will obviously support him.
“But there’s a big problem and I have to say that performance was rancid.”