Harry Maguire was sent off as beleaguered Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suffered more misery in an emphatic defeat at Watford.
The Hornets should have gone ahead when Scott McTominay bundled over forward Joshua King inside the box, but goalkeeper David de Gea saved Ismaila Sarr’s penalty – then kept out his retake, ordered by the referee for encroachment.
Kiko Femenia had actually converted the rebound from Sarr’s first spot-kick – but he had encroached too, so the goal was ruled out as the retake decision was made.
King opened the scoring thanks to Emmanuel Dennis’ assist, before Sarr atoned for his penalty failures by sending a right-footed shot across De Gea to make it 2-0.
In the second half, United’s forgotten man Donny van de Beek – on as a substitute for the booked McTominay – pulled one back from Cristiano Ronaldo’s knock down following England winger Jadon Sancho’s searching cross.
But the nightmare continued for Solskjaer as Maguire was booked twice in seven minutes and sent off.
United looked to have a sliver of hope with 13 minutes left when the lively Van de Beek found Ronaldo with a through ball, but the Portugal captain’s goal was ruled out for offside.
In the closing moments, to the delight of the loud Watford faithful, Joao Pedro added a third goal before Dennis made it 4-1.
The defeat means United have tumbled down the table to seventh on 17 points, while Claudio Ranieri’s side are only four points behind them in 16th.