Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal said that his side were without "motivation, aggression and inspiration" for the first time this season after defeat at Everton.
It's the first time the Reds have lost back-to-back games under van Gaal, and both the manager and defender Chris Smalling admitted the Reds were "off the pace".
"For the first goal, we lost three duels in a row, in their counter-attack from our corner.
That is poor and you cannot do it.
"Everton had more aggression and motivation than us and that is the first time that I have seen that this year so I was very disappointed by half-time.
"Then, we could not restore the scores because Everton defended very well and played on the counter attack so then it is always difficult.
"We shall always be compared to the opponent in motivation and in aggression, we need to be higher than the opponent but that is not always possible.
"It was the first time I saw this."
"When you see the shots on the goal, they were not the shots that I
am used to with the conviction to shoot. That is what I am saying, we
were less than our opponents in aggression and winning the second balls,
or winning the duels in defence. The first goal, we lost three duels in
a row on a counter attack from a corner of ours. You cannot lose three
duels in a row.”
Asked if he believed United could win the game at
half-time, when Everton were 2-0 up, van Gaal said:
“You need a quick
goal and the quick goal was not coming. Then you have to change because
you want to try other players with other qualities and still I didn’t
feel we were coming back.
“They finished the game with the third
goal, of course, which was also a tricky goal – offside or not offside.
"You always have to run with your opponent, but I can imagine [Antonio]
Valencia was thinking his opponent was offside.”
Centre back Smalling added:
"We're very disappointed, they had more aggression and we were off the pace and second best.
"This is a massive wake up call for us, we've got four games left and need to play much better than we did today.
"We'll make sure we learn from this, I think you will see a very different Manchester United next Saturday."