Brighton: Brighton & Hove Albion trounced Manchester United 4-0 in the Premier League on Saturday, as Ralf Rangnick's side suffered a fifth straight away defeat with another woeful defensive display.
The result was Brighton's first victory at home since December and they got it in style with the Seagulls thoroughly dominating, as Moises Caicedo, Marc Cucurella, Pascal Gross and Leandro Trossard all found the net.
The defeat means it is now mathematically impossible for sixth-placed United to qualify for the Champions League, as they sit five points adrift of fourth-placed Arsenal with one game left to play.
Brighton, who are bidding to finish in the top half of the Premier League for the first time, are ninth, five points off a Europa Conference League spot with two remaining matches.
"It is a special day. (United) are a top side and we've let our home fans down this season, so it was a nice moment, Brighton captain Lewis Dunk told Sky Sports.
Caicedo netted his first goal in a Brighton shirt in the 15th minute when he took advantage of the ball ricocheting off Alex Telles to tuck a low drive inside the post from outside of the box.
Cucurella made it 2-0 after the break, firing into the roof of the net from close range.
Gross then steered a shot past David de Gea before Trossard added the fourth when Diogo Dalots clearance bounced off his chest and into the United goal.
The hosts continued to pick holes in the United defence, going close when Dalot diverted a ball heading to Alexis Mac Allister onto the post, rather than to the Argentinian.
United attempted to fight back but a strong goalkeeping performance from Robert Sanchez kept them out.
The visitors did manage to put the ball in the back of the net, but Edinson Cavani was clearly offside when he poked home after Harry Maguire flashed a ball across the goalmouth.
United have now conceded 56 goals in the Premier League this season, their worst defensive record in a single campaign in the competition.
"The result is what it is," United midfielder Bruno Fernandes said. "It is not good enough. They outplayed us. They always had a solution. Pressed us better and they deserved the result. A little bit of everything (went wrong). Quality. Mentality. They deserved to win and we deserve to be in the position we are in now."
Rangnick apologises for United's humiliating defeat
Interim manager Ralf Rangnick apologised for Manchester United's "humiliating" 4-0 drubbing by Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday, a result that ended their faint hopes of playing in the Champions League next season.
Defeat left United trailing fourth-placed Arsenal by five points. With Rangnick's team having just one match left, they cannot finish higher than their current sixth place in the standings and all the teams above them have games in hand.
In fact, they could finish lower in the standings if they are leapfrogged by West Ham United, who are six points behind them but have two games in hand.
"It was a terrible performance. From the first until the last minute it was not enough. We can only apologise for this performance and a humiliating defeat," said Rangnick, who will hand over coaching duties to Erik ten Hag at the end of the season.
United's 3-0 win over Brentford earlier this week had raised hopes that they might manage to sneak into Europe's premier club competition next season but it proved to be a short-lived pipe dream.
"(Monday's win over Brentford) was a different game, we just gave too much time and space (to Brighton)," added German Rangnick.
"We were never in a position where we could stop them playing through our lines, We told the players to be as compact as they could but we couldn't stop it."
United have lost three of their last five league games, leaking 12 goals during that run. It is little wonder the Old Trafford faithfuls have been left extremely frustrated as United have endured their worst-ever Premier League season for goals conceded, with the tally standing at 56 so far.
While defeats against top-four opposition Liverpool and Arsenal were not that surprising, the rout they suffered at Brighton left United's fans so angry that they chanted you are not fit to wear the shirt during Saturday's match.
"What we did today, what I did today, was not enough to be in a Manchester United shirt and I accept it," midfielder Bruno Fernandes told Sky Sports.
His manager added: In games like today and at Everton (when we were beaten 1-0), there was a lack of energy and aggression. In the first three or four months, we were on the right pathway, but in the last four weeks, we have been really poor.