From Brentford battering to Anfield annihilation: Man Utd's worst away days in 2022-23 - ranked
Spare a thought for Manchester United's away fans this season. They have travelled all around the country to follow their team, parting with their hard-earned money and spending hundreds of hours away from their families. And time and time again, they have been treated to shambolic performances.
Alexis Mac Allister's 99th-minute penalty for Brighton inflicted a seventh away defeat on Erik ten Hag's side this season in the Premier League, and their eighth away loss in all competitions. Indeed, they've been particularly bad against the stronger teams, losing seven out of eight away matches against the top nine in the table.
The only top-nine team they haven't lost to away from home is Tottenham, and their 2-2 draw last month actually felt a bit like a defeat after squandering a two-goal advantage at half-time. From away matches against teams in the top 12 positions, they have picked up only six points from a potential 33. And they failed to win away at Chelsea, who are having one of their worst seasons in Premier League history, and could not win away to Patrick Vieira's Crystal Palace, when the Eagles were in relegation form.
GOAL ranks all of United's away defeats this season - strap yourself in, this is going to get ugly!
- Erling Haaland, Vinicius Jr and GOAL's European Team of the Season for 2022-23
- Jose Mourinho is a 'f*cking disgrace'! Reckless Roma coach is responsible for disgusting abuse of referee Anthony Taylor
- Keep, loan or sell? The players Liverpool should allow to leave in the 2023 summer transfer window
- Unsanctioned flights, disappointing droughts, and eight reasons why it all went wrong for Lionel Messi at PSG
#8 Arsenal 3-2 Man Utd: Nketiah header is a punch in the gut
After a resurgent run of form after Christmas, and a thrilling win over Manchester City, United briefly flirted with the thought of a title challenge when they travelled to league leaders Arsenal towards the end of January.
They took the lead through Marcus Rashford's thumping effort from outside the area, although Eddie Nketiah soon equalised later in the first half. Bukayo Saka pulled Arsenal in front after the break only for Lisandro Martinez to level, but it was the Gunners who showed more ambition to get all three points.
An Arsenal winner duly arrived in the 90th minute from a towering header by Nketiah and it felt like a punch in the gut after such a strong performance. But United could at least take heart from the fact they had held their own for much of the game against the top team in the league at the time. That's more than they can say about some of their other away defeats.
- Getty Images
#7 Brighton 1-0 Man Utd: The writing was on the wall
After losing at home to Brighton on the opening day of this season - and getting hammered 4-0 by the Seagulls last season - no one at United could have been feeling hugely optimistic about the trip to the Amex Stadium. And that was even after overcoming Brighton in the FA Cup semi-final on penalties.
Roberto De Zerbi's side had created the better chances at Wembley and they were also the better side here, even though Antony wasted a glorious chance to give United an early lead. The Red Devils had some positive spells, and Jason Steele had to make some good saves from Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes, but Brighton dominated the final few minutes.
The pressure paid off when Luke Shaw handled the ball and a VAR review spotted the infraction, allowing Mac Allister to smash home from the spot in the 99th minute, the latest goal United have ever conceded in the Premier League.
#6 Aston Villa 3-1: A first defeat in 28 years
Villa Park has often proved a happy hunting ground for United over the years. Before this season, the Red Devils had not lost there since the opening day of the 1995-96 season with a team filled with youngsters, prompting Alan Hansen to infamously remark on Match of the Day that evening: "You'll win nothing with kids".
But Villa were fired up in their first game under Unai Emery following the sacking of Steven Gerrard and they blitzed United, taking an early lead from Leon Bailey and then doubling it with a cracking free-kick from Lucas Digne.
A deflected strike from Luke Shaw put United back into contention just before half-time. But they were sliced open by Villa again early in the second half, allowing Jacob Ramsey to ram home their third goal. United had no response this time.
#5 Newcastle 2-0 Man Utd: Magpies avenge final defeat
The Red Devils had beaten Newcastle six weeks previously in the Carabao Cup final, but that just made the Magpies hungry for revenge at St James' Park. Newcastle were also extra motivated after Ten Hag had described them as "annoying" and criticised their propensity to time waste.
A daunting trip was made even more difficult as United were without the suspended Casemiro, and Newcastle controlled the match from the first minute to the last. They kept ripping the Red Devils apart down both wings and it was a miracle that the Magpies did not score until the 65th minute, such was their dominance.
Having missed two big chances in the first half, Joe Willock finally broke the deadlock by finishing off a slick move across United's box with a close-range header. Callum Wilson sealed the points with another header.
Newcastle were rampant but from a United point of view this was an abject 90 minutes, and Ten Hag, Luke Shaw and Lisandro Martinez all admitted afterwards that the team lacked passion and energy.
- Getty Images
#4 Sevilla 3-0 Man Utd: A traumatic night for De Gea & Maguire
United hadn't been unbeaten in their three trips to Spain this season but they fell victim to Sevilla's mystique in the Europa League, which they have won a record six times. In a scorching cauldron of noise at the Sanchez Pizjuan in this quarter-final second leg, Sevilla swarmed over Ten Hag's side and could of scored three goals in the first half.
They crushed United with careful pressing, with Erik Lamela pouncing on a bad pass from Harry Maguire after a suspect ball from David de Gea, allowing World Cup hero Youssef En-Nesyri to score.
De Gea was badly caught out of position by Loic Bade's looping effort off the shoulder for goal number two. But the worst was still to come for the goalkeeper, who badly mis-controlled a long ball, sending it straight to the feet of En-Nesyri of all people. It was the worst performance by De Gea in 12 years at United and a harrowing night all round for the Red Devils.
But what was most disappointing of all is how they had put themselves into this position after throwing away a two-goal lead in the final few minutes of the first leg at Old Trafford after lapses from Tyrell Malacia and Maguire.
#3 Man City 6-3 Man Utd: Haaland runs riot in his first derby
Ten Hag got the worst possible introduction to the Manchester derby as his side came up against an insatiable Erling Haaland. The Norwegian, whose father Alfie played for two of United's biggest rivals in City and Leeds, had said at his presentation that the game he was most looking forward to was the derby, and he did not disappoint.
Haaland hit a hat-trick and got two assists in a one-sided derby while local boy Phil Foden also got a treble as City looked set to repeat the 6-1 scoreline from 11 years previously at Old Trafford, until Anthony Martial struck twice to make the result slightly more dignified.
However, a lot of United fans were not there to see the last two goals as they had already left early, leaving a sea of empty blue seats in the away end. But on a humiliating day like this against their local rivals, could you really blame them?
- Getty Images
#2 Brentford 4-0 Man Utd: An utterly shocking first half
After the pre-season optimism about Ten Hag's arrival had been deflated by the opening day defeat at home to Brighton, the scale of the task on the Dutchman's hands was laid bare by a crushing at the hands of Brentford.
Thomas Frank's side have an army of admirers but no one expected them to beat United so easily. The Red Devils played their part in their own downfall as David de Gea let a tame shot from Josh Dasilva slip through his fingers for the opening goal and then gifted the ball to Mathias Jensen as he tried to play out from his own area.
Ben Mee and Bryan Mbuemo then scored in quick succession to give Brentford an unbelievable 4-0 lead after only 35 minutes. United then focused on damage limitation and somehow managed to see out the second half without conceding any more goals.
Cristiano Ronaldo, making one of his few starts this season before leaving the club in November, refused to acknowledge the away fans as he left the pitch. The defeat signalled the first time United had lost their two opening games of the season in 30 years but this was not just any old loss. It was one of the club's worst away performances in the Premier League, against a team that had spent most of their history in the lower leagues.
- Getty Images
#1 Liverpool 7-0 Man Utd: The worst defeat in the club's history
After winning the Carabao Cup and beating Barcelona, the more optimistic of United fans felt confident of a first win at Anfield since 2016. Instead, they witnessed the team's worst loss in the fixture since the 19th century, when the club were still called Newton Heath.
Bizarrely, United actually made a strong start to the game, scoring a goal ruled out for offside and creating a few chances while keeping Liverpool quiet. But everything changed when Cody Gakpo pounced on slack United defending to curl the ball into the far corner just before half-time.
After the interval, the Red Devils simply fell apart. Usually robust characters like Casemiro and Lisandro Martinez melted as Liverpool smelt blood, and Bruno Fernandes was at his petulant worst. Gakpo, Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah all scored twice, while Roberto Firmino completed the rout, sealing United's heaviest defeat since 1931 and their joint-worst result of all time.
Ten Hag was furious with the players' lack of fight and courage, declaring: "I don't think it's Manchester United." It was an utterly harrowing afternoon for anyone connected to the club and will be a stain on the season, however it ends.