Mutiny filled the Old Trafford air on Wednesday night as Manchester United’s season reached its lowest point with this abject defeat.
United fans made clear their fury with anti-Glazer chants as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side lost further ground in the race for the final top-four place.
Not even under David Moyes, sacked after 10 months were United this bad. At this stage of the season under Moyes, in 2014, United had 40 points. Under Solskjaer, they have 34.
Regression has set in at United, the great swathes of empty red seats, long before the final whistle, saying everything about the current state of the 20-time champions and their spectacular fall from grace.
Burnley’s first win at United since 1962 was thoroughly deserved, with goals in either half from Chris Wood and Jay Rodriguez sealing a memorable triumph that lifted Sean Dyche’s side to 13th.
But their win was made that much easier by United, who lost for the eighth time in the league and second game running following defeat at arch rivals and runaway leaders Liverpool by the same scoreline.
When Rodriguez doubled Burnley’s lead in the 56th minute, United fans made their feelings known, standing up and chanting in unison: “Stand up if you hate the Glazers” and “We want our United back”.
It made for uncomfortable listening for those in the United directors’ box, as disgruntled home fans stood up in support of the chants to rid the club of their reviled American owners.
United remain six points off fourth spot, with 14 games left, and are facing another costly season out of the Champions League after this latest debacle.
They have already lost to Crystal Palace, West Ham, Newcastle, Bournemouth, Watford, Arsenal and Liverpool this term, but this was their nadir, the lowest point in a season of unremitting mediocrity.
The most damning aspect of the defeat was that Burnley did not have to play particularly well to win, taking the two chances that came their way, then seeing out their advantage.
United knew they were in for a tough night, having been held by Burnley in their last three encounters at Old Trafford, with Sean Dyche’s side always organised and obdurate opponents.
Solskjaer’s side had chances to score in the first-half, but lacked conviction in front of the target, something that is likely to become a familiar scenario with Rashford out for months.
The visitors took the lead in the 38th minute, from a set-piece, after Phil Jones needlessly fouled Wood just inside the halfway line.
The free-kick was sent long by Ashley Westwood, Ben Mee beat Nemanja Matic in the air to flick the ball on, and Wood got to it ahead of Harry Maguire to score with a sweeping finish.
It was Wood’s 10th goal of the season and a deserved lead for Dyche’s side, who had defended with discipline and diligence when required, then took their chance to score when it came.
Solskjaer had a face like thunder as he strode to the dressing-room at half-time, his response to replace the abject Andreas Pereira with teenage striker Mason Greenwood for the second-half.
But the change had no effect, United caught cold again in the 56th minute, an exchange of passes between Wood and Rodriguez ending with the latter rifling an unstoppable left-foot shot into the top corner.
The exodus of home fans began, the Theatre of Dreams having long since turned into a nightmare venue for United supporters who have had enough.