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.”