Ten Hag Casemiro Garnacho Man Utd GFXGetty/GOAL

The Damned United are back! Pitiful Fulham defeat shows Red Devils' revival was built on sand - Sir Jim Ratcliffe will have to settle for the Europa League at best

Sir Jim Ratcliffe warned last week that it would take at least three years for Manchester United to win another Premier League title. On the evidence of their abysmal home defeat by Fulham, it will take 33. At least.

Marco Silva's side had not won away from Craven Cottage since beating Everton on the opening day of the season, and had not tasted victory at Old Trafford for 21 years. But they soon made themselves at home at the Theatre of Dreams on Saturday, and could have been up by three goals by half-time.

United, meanwhile, were utterly toothless in attack and only started having a go just before the interval. Erik ten Hag's side were eventually sunk by a 97th-minute winner from Alex Iwobi, but the truth is the goal had been a long time coming and it was no more than the Cottagers had deserved.

Article continues below

There was a deep sense of deja-vu for the Red Devils as Fulham became the latest in a long line of teams who United would usually expect to beat to end up winning at Old Trafford, following unexpected away victories for Brighton, Crystal Palace, Galatasaray and Bournemouth during this campaign.

And the worrying thing is that United had looked like a different animal in 2024, winning six out of seven games in all competitions since the turn of the year and lifting their hopes of a top-four finish. All it has taken to derail that progress is a couple of injuries, and now Ten Hag's side look like that same dis-jointed and dysfunctional team that muddled their way through the first half of the campaign.