Misfiring Manchester United crashed to a third consecutive defeat on Sunday as manager Jose Mourinho saw his side deservedly beaten 3-1 at Watford in the Premier League.
It is the first time Mourinho has lost three straight games within the same season since he was at Porto in 2002 and it left United six points behind early pace-setters Manchester City.
Tottenham Hotspur went third after beating Sunderland 1-0 with a goal from Harry Kane, who later limped off. Crystal Palace crushed Stoke City 4-1 and Southampton edged Swansea City 1-0.
“We started the season very well and had good results,” said Mourinho.
“I feel the first moment we had a defeat, a difficult situation, some of the boys are having a bit of difficulty coping with the negativity.”
Marcus Rashford cancelled out Etienne Capoue’s opener for Watford, but a late goal by Juan Camilo Zuniga and a stoppage-time Troy Deeney penalty gave Walter Mazzarri’s side the three points.
United were beaten 2-1 by Manchester City in their previous league game and then went down 1-0 to Feyenoord in the Europa League on Thursday.
Mourinho made five changes to the team that had lost in Rotterdam, with Antonio Valencia, Luke Shaw, Marouane Fellaini, Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic coming in.
But once again United made a sluggish start and they were given a big let-off when Odion Ighalo somehow curled wide of an open goal after visiting goalkeeper David de Gea dropped a high ball.
Paul Pogba cracked a dipping shot against the bar moments later, but United fell behind in the 34th minute when Daryl Janmaat cut the ball back for Capoue to sweep home his fourth goal of the campaign.
Mourinho felt that United should have been awarded a free-kick for a foul on Anthony Martial by Miguel Britos in the build-up.
Martial landed heavily, having earlier been hurt in a clash of heads with Janmaat, and he left the pitch shortly after, with Ashley Young coming on.
Rashford, making his first league start of the season, equalised just after the hour, slamming in from close range after Ibrahimovic’s cross from the left bounced into his path.