New Delhi: Manchester United suffered their fourth successive defeats in all competitions for the first time since 1996 and gone seven games without a win for the first time since the 1989-90 season as Stoke City blanked Louis van Gaal`s boys 2-0 at Britannia Stadium on Saturday.
The third successive league defeat has put the Dutchman's position in the Old Trafford in a precarious situation even as a certain Jose Mourinho has been linked to a move to the England's most successful club.
The first of Boxing Day fixtures witnessed a fearless Stoke City took the lead as early as the 19th minute with former Barcelona starlet Bojan Krkic keeping his cool to slot home from a defensive error from United.
Marko Arnautovic, then, punished United for a dreadful start despite the visitors playing with clear intention to win the match. Arnautovic launched a rocket from a rebound in the 26th minute to give Stoke 2-0 lead, which they maintained till the end.
This is Van Gaal's seven-match winless run in which United have been eliminated from the UEFA Champions League and fallen out of the Premier League`s top four.
Earlier, in the pre-match press conference, the Dutchman reportedly stormed out due to the speculation about his future. And, at least for those odd 90 minutes, he managed to avoid the questions.
But this time, the former Bayern Munich manager may not be able to escape the hard questions coming his way.