Manchester United have sunk to yet another humiliating defeat in the Premier League.
Just when it looked as though the 5-0 and 2-0 losses to Liverpool and Manchester City had marked the deepest of nadirs for the Red Devils, things got even worse with the trip to Vicarage Road.
United were lucky not to find themselves 1-0 down to an Ismaïla Sarr penalty in the opening exchanges with David de Gea making two superb saves. But the resistance didn’t last for much longer.
Watford 4-1 Man Utd
Sarr eventually got his goal to join Joshua King on the scoresheet before half-time as Watford led 2-0, prompting Solskjaer to grant a rare appearance to Donny van de Beek off the bench.
And although the Dutch midfielder notched just his second goal for the club to threaten a comeback, the two yellow cards received by Harry Maguire brought United crashing back down to Earth.
Watford vs Man Utd Match Reaction (Football Terrace)
Joao Pedro eventually rubbed more salt into United’s wounds by making it 3-1, before Emmanuel Dennis finished the job by remarkably scoring from a Ben Foster assist in stoppage time.
As such, the United team cut a wounded image after the full-time whistle as they went over to the travelling supporters, who were understandably unhappy, to thank them for making the journey.
Fernandes defending Solskjaer?
Television footage showed Solskjaer gesticulating his apologies, but it was the behaviour of Bruno Fernandes that really caught the eye as he appeared to visibly show support for the manager.
Fabrizio Romano tweeted: “Ole Gunnar Solskjær apologises to Man United fans. Bruno Fernandes sends a clear message to the whole team – like ‘don’t blame only the manager’”
Laurie Whitehall also noted: “Solskjaer went with team to applaud away fans + a significant number returned V signs + booed.
“Fernandes remonstrated, telling supporters to take anger out on everyone. Was ushered away by Fred. A sad picture of a broken situation.”
While Tyrone Marshall explained: “Solskjaer holds his hands up to apologise to the away fans. Quite a few boos coming back. Fernandes argues back to the away end and is pulled away by Fred.”
And Ian Dennis observed: “Solskjaer faced the #MUFC fans on the pitch after the whistle as he walked towards them and appeared to hold his hands up then Bruno Fernandes gestured to the travelling support don’t blame the manager blame the players.”
Footage of Fernandes’ FT reaction
It certainly sounds as though Fernandes was coming out in defence of his manager when members of the travelling support apparently booed the coach’s applause and apologies.
And although there isn’t footage of the entire incident at the time of writing, you can see the early signs of Fernandes’ displeasure with the United fans in the background of the video down below:
Footage from the stands also showed the moment that Fred ran over to escort Fernandes away from the situation, potentially keen to ensure that his teammate didn’t drag out the interaction.
So, was Fernandes defending Solskjaer? From the accounts of the reporters in attendance at Vicarage Road, it certainly appears to be the case as the midfielder took umbrage with the boos.
Besides, the gesture where he points to the team certainly suggests that Fernandes was indicating that either the players are deserving of the blame or they should at least be criticised just as much.
However, no matter who you think should be blamed for United’s latest Premier League humiliation, the inescapable reality is that something needs to change – and it needs to change right now.