Manchester United players were messaging about winning the Premier League title in their WhatsApp group before their 7-0 loss against Liverpool.
Erik ten Hag’s side were thrashed by Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday, ending any faint title hopes they may have had.
That humiliation not only saw them take a huge confidence blow but it left them 14 points behind league leaders Arsenal, although they do have a game in hand.
They won’t be winning the Premier League this season.
But according to a report in the Daily Mail, the players were starting to believe.
After lifting the Carabao Cup last month, the Red Devils were still in with a chance of winning the quadruple.
They’re through to the quarter final of the FA Cup, while they’re also in the last-16 of the Europa League. But overtaking both Manchester City and Arsenal was always going to pose the biggest challenge to winning all four trophies.
But the players went into the Liverpool game still believing.
The Daily Mail report: “Ten Hag has been quick to silence any talk of quadruples, but there was a growing feeling among the players that the Premier League title was a genuine target.
“In the players’ WhatsApp group, they had spoken about the prospect of catching the top two.
“The feelgood factor going into the Liverpool game was what made the collapse so shocking.”
After such a terrible result, United may well be looking behind them and ensuring they now finish in the top four. Tottenham are four points behind them, while Liverpool are seven back. With a game in hand, Newcastle could go within five points.
After the match, Ten Hag admitted his side lost their heads during the match.
“It was a really bad performance and the worst of the year,” said Ten Hag.
“We lost the game at the end of the first half and at the start of the second but you have to keep your head up and we didn’t.
“It’s all about showing discipline and we didn’t, so that’s when you start conceding goals.
“It’s a really unprofessional performance and unnecessary. You have to do your jobs and we didn’t.”
United will be hoping to bounce back against Real Betis in the Europa League on Thursday.
“We have made a lot of progress but you see what happens when you don’t keep standards,” said Ten Hag.
“What I have said in the dressing room is that this is unacceptable. But also it is only one game.
“We will bounce back. This team is strong enough and we will reset and bounce back.”