Luke Shaw apologised for a “completely unacceptable”, “embarrassing” and “disgraceful” 7-0 loss at Liverpool that he says cannot be allowed to derail Manchester United’s season.
A week on from winning the Carabao Cup and ending a six-year wait for silverware, the Old Trafford giants headed to Merseyside with confidence and background talk of a potential quadruple.
But those faint Premier League title hopes went up in smoke in a 7-0 Anfield annihilation on Sunday, when United unravelled in a loss that matched their heaviest ever defeat.
Erik ten Hag’s side were only a goal down at the end of a solid first-half showing but conceded six in a second-half collapse that the manager called “unprofessional”, with United left-back Shaw offering similarly honest views.
“Unacceptable, embarrassing, to be honest,” the England international said.
“I think out there on the pitch I felt embarrassed for us players, for the fans that were there supporting us, that were watching at home, to watch that second half.
“I can only apologise for that and us as players have to own it, we have to stand up and accept that it was nowhere near good enough.
“It was completely unacceptable and I’m sure they’re hurting but us as players are hurting a lot.
“I think our standards have clearly dropped since we’ve won that trophy and in the last couple of games we haven’t been our normal selves.
“We need to find the good things we were doing before and bring them back because this hurts a lot.
“It’s really unacceptable what we did in that second half with mistakes.
“We showed no personality, no mentality and for a big team to come here we need to be better.”
United had the better chances in the first half, only to be caught cold by Cody Gakpo just before half-time.
By the final whistle, the January signing, Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah had two goals apiece, with Liverpool substitute Roberto Firmino completing the seven-goal shellacking.
“It showed in the first half that if you switch off for one moment then you get punished,” Shaw told MUTV.
“I think in the second half we switched off for the whole half and not just moments.
“Like I said, it was embarrassing, disgraceful and it’s not acceptable what that second half was.”
Shaw repeated that the second half was a “disgrace”, with the loss hurting all the more given the progress and confidence built under Ten Hag this season.
The United full-back apologised wholeheartedly to the supporters after the match and thanked them for continuing to support them in such wretched circumstances.
Ten Hag says the team now need to press “reset” and refocus on making this a successful end to the campaign, with Europa League and FA Cup success still within their grasp.
“We need a big debrief (Monday) on what went wrong,” Shaw said.
“I can only say on behalf of the team that we know it’s unacceptable and we know starting now we need to make amends, starting with the game on Thursday (against Real Betis in the Europa League).
“Hopefully they’ll be there to support us. We’ll give everything in that game.
“We need to realise that (it won’t define our campaign). That’s why we’re having a big debrief (on Monday) about the game, what went wrong.
“We need to keep the belief, keep the character and bring back that personality and mentality that we know we have, but we lost today.
“I think we can’t let this one result derail our whole season because I think we’re in a really good place.
“It’s another hurdle that we need to go over and us as a team we’ll climb over that and I think we’ll bounce back positively on Thursday night. I’m sure of that.”