Manchester United’s FA Cup quarter-final defeat by Wolves is a “big step backwards”, says interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Wolves dominated a lacklustre United in a convincing 2-1 victory at Molineux.
It is the first time United have lost back-to-back games since Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho in December, having also been beaten by Arsenal in the Premier League last Sunday.
“This was the poorest we’ve played,” Solskjaer told BBC Sport.
“We started too slowly and played into their hands. Our possession wasn’t bright enough and quick enough, so it’s disappointing.”
The visitors created little of note until Marcus Rashford’s 95th-minute consolation goal and needed several fine saves from Sergio Romero to deny Wolves before Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota scored in quick succession.
“I didn’t think we had enough quality in the last third, enough combination play,” added Solskjaer.
“We had decent dominance with the ball in the first half but that doesn’t help if you give the ball away and they can counter.
“This was a big step backwards, mainly because of the quality of the possession and the passing.
“We’ve had a great run and now we’ve had two defeats. Against Arsenal we just couldn’t score, and this was poor.”
The Norwegian said his side have “got to go again” after the international break as they bid for a top-four finish in the Premier League and face Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals.
Asked whether this defeat could harm his chances of becoming permanent manager, Solskjaer replied: “I’m here until the summer, we’ve got loads to play for in the league and the Champions League.”
Chief football writer Phil McNulty at Molineux
Solskjaer and United have deservedly been showered in praise for their dramatic rejuvenation since Jose Mourinho was sacked in December, the highlight of which was the stunning Champions League turnaround against Paris St-Germain in France earlier this month.
This, though, was a performance that rolled back the months to the Mourinho era and was arguably worse than some of the displays turned in under the Portuguese.
Paul Pogba was restored as captain as another Mourinho move was wiped away, but he was poor – although he was not alone there.
United barely threatened Wolves keeper John Ruddy and, slowly but surely, their performance crumbled to almost shambolic levels in the second half as Wolves were all over them and ran them ragged.
Solskjaer will hope it is just a temporary slump, but the fight is now right on for the top four and Champions League opponents Barcelona will not lose a wink of sleep after watching United here.