Ok, so everyone knew there were problems at Old Trafford.
Everyone knew that Jose Mourinho had fallen out with basically every footballer to ever play for Manchester United.
Everyone knew that - regardless of the result - today's game against Newcastle United could well have been Jose Mourinho's last game at the club.
But up until 17:40 on Saturday 6th October, did we really believe it?
At 17:40 on Saturday 6th October all of the aforementioned became believable. As ten minutes into Man Utd's encounter with Newcastle United - a team without a win this season - the Red Devils were already two goals down.
As expected, a meltdown on Man Utd Twitter ensued:
Mourinho's definitely lost the players. They've not even turned up today.— Mark Goldbridge (@markgoldbridge) October 6, 2018
AHwg'w;rghe'orghupaieruhgpieruhglibu weuia YOONITED— Chris Deeley (@ThatChris1209) October 6, 2018
With all hope seemingly lost, Jose Mourinho turned to his substitutes bench...in the 19th minute of the game. An audaciously early 'Hail Mary; was thrown by Mourinho as he brought on forgotten man Juan Mata for easily forgettable man, Eric Bailly.
Did it work?
Well, in the first half, not really...
Juan Mata is coming on. It is the 18th minute...— Simon Peach (@SimonPeach) October 6, 2018
David de Gea keeping us in it. (The Premier League).— Sam Homewood (@SamHomewood) October 6, 2018
With the decision to bring on Juan Mata for Eric Bailly clearly not working, Jose Mourinho threw a second 'Hail Mary'.
'A two Hail Marys in one game?' Yes, Jose went full Aaron Rodgers...by bringing on Marouane Fellaini...
If in doubt... put Fellaini on and lump in forward— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) October 6, 2018
The result of this change?
Are you ready for this one?
Are you sure you're ready?
It's pretty weird:
Paul Pogba went into the heart of Man Utd's defence. Yes, Paul Pogba, ONE OF THE BEST CENTRAL MIDFIELDERS IN THE WORLD, moved to centre half. And, unsurprisingly, Man Utd Twitter had another meltdown:
Fellaini on and Pogba CB....Even if we manage to scrape a win Jose has to go. The tactics are out of a hat— Mark Goldbridge (@markgoldbridge) October 6, 2018
Pogba as a 3rd CB + no central midfield might just be the most Galaxy Brain thing to happen to the Premier League in YEARS— Howler Magazine (@whatahowler) October 6, 2018
Out of the nowhere however, when all hope seemed lost, Man Utd scored.
Manchester United scored at Old Trafford, and yes, it was a surprise. A massive surprise:
That Juan Mata goal proved to be the catalyst for Manchester United turning into, well, the Manchester United we all grew up watching e.g. a really good football team.
Instead of sitting deep, soaking up pressure, before sluggishly - and half heatedly - mounting counter attacks (if you can call them 'attacks'); Man Utd reverted to throwing men into the final third, passing the ball, and actually trying to score.
This change of tact worked:
Pogba and Martial for the equaliser... 👌🏽— Adam McKola (@AdamMcKola) October 6, 2018
Let's push for a winner, Reds! Come on! 🔴
When Manchester United actually decide to play football they don't look half bad. Fantastic build up between Pogba and Martial. Cracking finish.— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) October 6, 2018
It worked really, really, really well.
In fact it worked so well, that Manchester United - in 'Fergie Time' - scored scored a winner.
I HAVE NEVER DOUBTED ALEXIS SANCHEZ.— 𝒫ℯℯ𝓋ℯ𝓈 (@orscrz) October 6, 2018
We knew there were problems at Manchester United.
We knew that Jose Mourinho had fallen out with basically every footballer to ever play for Manchester United.
We knew that - regardless of the result - today's game against Newcastle United could well have been Jose Mourinho's last game at the club.
But at 19:30 on Saturday 6th October, do we really believe?