Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was left seething at his Manchester United charges after watching them collapse to a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Everton .
Instead, goals from Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Lucas Digne and Theo Walcott condemned the visitors to yet another heavy loss on the road, meaning they have shipped seven goals in their last two outings with not a single strike in favour.
The reverse also means the prospect of Champions League football next season is rapidly slipping away for the Reds, and the usually serene Solskjaer could not hide his anger.
"From the first whistle everything went wrong. I just want to apologise to the fans. They’re the only people with the badge on today who can hold their head high, because we can't," he told Sky Sports after the final whistle.
"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]."
"We’re way off where we want to be. When you lose in the league like we did here, everyone sees that we have a big job to do.
"This club has been down before, we’ve just got to pick ourselves up. It might not happen overnight, but it's going to happen."
United now face an uphill battle to finish inside the top four, an objective that Solskjaer insists is still feasible.
"You want to see the team express themselves. The goals were easy, we were sloppy on the ball. We cannot hide, we just have to step up and say we have to improve," he added.
"We have to win all four games, then we might have a chance [of finishing in the top four].
"It’s a big ask, but we can do it. We can’t just talk about it, we’ve got to do it."
Having made such a positive start to life under the Norwegian, United have slumped at the end of the season, losing four of their last five games in all competitions.
They will hope for a welcome return to form in time to frustrate rivals City's Premier League title hopes in Wednesday's Manchester derby, which sees the current leaders travel to Old Trafford.