The pressure increased on Louis van Gaal after Manchester United were handed an embarrassing beating at Stoke.
Bojan Krkic took advantage of a terrible error by Memphis Depay to put Stoke ahead and Marko Arnautovic scored a 25-yard screamer as Van Gaal ‘s position came under even more scrutiny after going seven games without a win.
Do not be fooled by the 2-0 scoreline. This was a comprehensive win for Stoke, one that caused glee among the home supporters who branded United “boring” throughout.
“You’re getting sacked in the morning,” the home fans chanted when Arnautovic drove his fierce shot into the top corner and one Stoke fan dressed as a cross between the Grim Reaper and Jose Mourinho waved an oversized P45 in Van Gaal’s direction.
With Mourinho on the market, and United looking like they have forgotten how to win - and play attractive football - Van Gaal’s position is looking more precarious than ever.
The Dutchman, who dropped Wayne Rooney from his team for the first time, demanded an apology from the media for stories suggesting he would be replaced by Mourinho on Wednesday, but it is the 2,557 United fans who travelled to the Britannia Stadium on Boxing Day who deserve an apology for this latest sorry performance.