Former Manchester United stars Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand delivered a damning verdict after seeing Jose Mourinho’s men dumped out of the Champions League by Sevilla.
A 2-1 home defeat by the Spanish side ended the Old Trafford club’s interest in the competition in the last 16 and left them realistically with only the FA Cup to compete for during what remains of the season.
Scholes accused United of lacking desire and Mourinho of not even trying to win the first leg to set up the second.
He told BT Sport: “It was very difficult watching that, it was difficult watching the first game. There was no desire, no energy, no speed about the team. I can’t explain it, it’s inexplicable.
“You go back to the first game – in the modern game now, teams go to places and they try to score goals. United went there and didn’t even try to win the game, they didn’t try to score a goal.”
Former team-mate Ferdinand admitted the Red Devils are off the pace in Europe.
Asked if they were far from able to be considered a top team, he replied: “In Europe, yes, 100 per cent.
“I’ll tell you what, next round, there’ll be teams licking their lips, English and other teams around Europe, licking their lips at the thought of playing against this Seville team because they are not a team that would frighten you.
“They’re a decent team, they are not a team that frighten you.
“In these games, you have got to go and take the game by the scruff of the neck.
“That takes personality, it takes characters to go and do that in this stadium. You have got to go and give the fans something to chant about. This stadium tonight was quiet and that’s down to the players.”
There was reaction to on Twitter with former England international Stan Collymore critical of Mourinho’s approach.
He tweeted: “Seville are a decent, but not a great side. Mourinho going to rightly get pelters for tonight. Hugely inconsistent, marked starkly against the consistency of City. Miles off a title or CL challenging team.”
He added: “Strange thing is Mourinho seems to react only when other teams take the initiative. Contrary to everything Manchester United have ever been about. Even the poorest United teams attacked, because that’s the demand and club DNA.”
Ex-Tottenham defender Graham Roberts was equally critical of the Portuguese.
He tweeted: “Why didn’t Mourinho make changes? It was only Seville. He just stood there didn’t know how to change and what to do.”
Former England striker and TV presenter Gary Lineker gave credit to Sevilla for their victory.
He posted: “You can’t say Sevilla don’t deserve their victory. They’ve won tactically and been better all over. United’s game-plan was baffling: deep lying, ponderous and negative.”
Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti needs to learn from mistakes such as his Champions League red card to live up to his potential as a big player, his club coach Unai Emery said on Tuesday.
Italian international Verratti allowed his emotions to get the better of him as last week’s Champions League tie with Real Madrid was slipping away from the French side, and was sent off for dissent.
“This is not the first time. He needs to improve his temperament,” said Emery.
“He needs to control his feelings, especially in the big matches. He’s a player with a lot of personality and we have spoken to him about it,” added Emery, whose side were reduced to 10 men whilst trying to overturn a deficit against Real Madrid.
“But he’s getting better and he’s a very important player for us both now and for the future.”
“He will continue to develop,” Emery said of the 25-year-old who has played 154 games for PSG and 24 times for Italy.
Verratti took a huge amount of media flack after PSG’s 5-2 aggregate defeat by Real with Italian daily La Gazzetta dello Sport writing “he is incapable of keeping a cool head”, an issue it said would also compromise his international career.
Michael Carrick wants Manchester United to establish themselves as a Champions League force once more as Old Trafford prepares to host a first knockout game in four years.
After the Red Devils secured a nervy 0-0 draw in Spain last month, Sevilla arrive on Tuesday evening for the return leg of an evenly-poised last-16 clash.
United last hosted a Champions League knockout game in 2014 and skipper Carrick says it is high time they competed again for European football’s top trophy.
“For so long, it was kind of a given,” said Carrick, the last remaining member of the victorious 2008 side.
“We didn’t take it for granted, but it was just what we did for so, so many years.
“When you go without that a little bit, it kind of hurts and you miss it.
“You know, fortunately this year we’re back there, back in the knockout stages where it really counts.
“You get that extra spicy feeling, there’s that little bit extra to it and we want to be playing these games. The biggest games at this time of the season.
“Not looking past tomorrow night, but for seasons ahead now I think as a squad we need to develop, we need to be constantly in this position and expect it of ourselves and keep them standards high.”
Carrick knows better than anyone in the squad about the high standards demanded at Old Trafford.
The 36-year-old is the longest-serving player at the club, having joined from Tottenham in 2006 and gone on to win the Champions League and five Premier League titles, among many other trophies.
Carrick will be hoping to add to his medal-laden CV before the end of the season – a campaign the veteran confirmed will be his last as a player before taking up manager Jose Mourinho’s offer to join the coaching staff.
“There comes a time when as much as you like it or don’t like it, your body tells you it’s time to stop playing football,” Carrick said.
“So that’s pretty much where I’m at, which is fine. It’s something you’ve got to accept so that’s where I am at.
“It’s kind of been sorted out (for a coaching role). We’re still talking about it, to be honest, so there’s nothing to totally confirm as yet.
“But, yeah, it’s looking likely.”
Carrick is unlikely to be in the starting line-up on Tuesday, while there are also big questions over Paul Pogba’s availability.
The 24-year-old midfielder – who surprisingly started the goalless first leg on the bench in Spain – was injured on the eve of the Liverpool clash and was conspicuous by his absence from the section of training open to the media on Monday.
United boss Mourinho offered no insight into Pogba’s injury, just that the club-record signing could be involved against Sevilla.
“(Pogba) did (train) after you left,” Mourinho said.
“I don’t know (if he can play), we don’t know yet, but he trained a little bit after you left.”
Mourinho confirmed that Anthony Martial is back in contention after an injury of his own, and that Daley Blind, Ander Herrera, Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones remain absent.