West Ham stormed to a 3-1 win over an abject Manchester United to pile further pressure on Jose Mourinho.
The United manager selected Paul Pogba from the off following a week-long soap opera at Old Trafford but Felipe Anderson gave West Ham an early lead with his first Premier League goal.
Things rarely picked up after that setback as Victor Lindelof deflected in Andriy Yarmolenko's shot to double the advantage for Manuel Pellegrini's team two minutes before half-time.
Marko Arnautovic sealed the points after Marcus Rashford briefly gave the visitors hope, meaning more uncomfortable questions await Mourinho, who omitted Alexis Sanchez, Jesse Lingard and captain Antonio Valencia from his matchday squad.
A United line-up that looked cautious on paper started in tepid fashion and they were behind in the fifth minute – Anderson's impudent backheel finish coming after Mark Noble released Pablo Zabaleta down the right.
The Brazilian's defensive work left a little more to be desired and he left Arthur Masuaku isolated when Ashley Young roved down the West Ham left, crossing for Romelu Lukaku to head against the post.
Masuaku was a touch fortunate not to be penalised for a shove on Scott McTominay in the area and Mourinho's frustrations were compounded when Yarmolenko's strike took a wicked deflection off Victor Lindelof, leaving David de Gea with no chance.
After the break, substitute Rashford played in Young to deliver another delightful cross that Marouane Fellaini met at the back post – forcing Lukasz Fabianski into the save of the match.
A sliding Arnautovic almost converted Anderson's pass before the home faithful greeted Pogba's withdrawal in the pantomime style.
When play restarted, Rashford cleverly converted from Luke Shaw's corner but Noble picked out the yawning gap between Chris Smalling and McTominay in the United defence and Arnautovic coolly finished the job 16 minutes from time.
SCENES!!! pic.twitter.com/st2X36Q6d7— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) September 29, 2018
What it means: Uneasy echoes of Chelsea demise for Mourinho
The word "crisis" has been too easily grasped for in relation to United this season, but this was truly awful. Against opponents finding their feet in attack – West Ham are now unbeaten in four across all competitions – but vulnerable defensively, Mourinho sent out a side lacking ambition and operating in a fog of tactical confusion.
Whatever the plan was, it emphatically did not work and United accepted their fate passively. No wins from matches against Wolves, Derby County and West Ham over the past eight days is a run to echo Mourinho's Chelsea implosion in 2015. These are worrying times at Old Trafford.
Noble West Ham's beating heart
Not always an automatic selection under Pellegrini, long-serving captain Noble showed his enduring worth. The pass that allowed Zabaleta to set up Anderson's opener was a weighted to perfection and he was sharp in and out of possession from that point – providing an under-scrutiny Pogba with a headache, outlasting him and laying on the game-sealing third.
Martial wastes his chance
All the focus is on Mourinho and another lavishly gifted Frenchman, but of the two United players to make way with 20 minutes remaining, it was Anthony Martial who had the most to regret. He was needlessly offside to woefully misjudge a header and dribbled the ball out of play in his first two contributions, with things not really getting any better from there. Pogba's future continue to be a saga; if Martial is eased out of Old Trafford, it is worth pondering who would care if this is all he can produce.
Key Opta stats: United leading the way… with own goals
- Manchester United have scored three Premier League own goals in 2018, more than any other side.
- West Ham enjoyed just their second win in their last 20 Premier League matches against United (D5 L13), along with a 3-2 victory at Upton Park in May 2016.
- United have won just 10 points in the Premier League this season; they last picked up fewer points from their opening seven games of a top-flight campaign in 1989-90 (7).
- De Gea has kept just one clean sheet in his opening seven Premier League games this season having kept six shut-outs in his first seven last season.
- In 2018, only Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (24) has been directly involved in more Premier League goals than Marko Arnautovic (17 – 10 goals, 7 goals).
United are back in Champions League action at home to Valencia on Tuesday – they have not tasted victory since the group-stage opener against Young Boys. West Ham, meanwhile, will hope to continue their momentum with a Friday trip to Brighton and Hove Albion next on the agenda.