sport news must buy big or risk being left behind after opening-game ...

The blows began raining down on long before Wilfried Zaha completed a thoroughly miserable start to the season at Old Trafford.

First, the news just before kick-off that Liverpool had signed Diogo Jota 24 hours after buying Thiago Alcantara.

Then confirmation in the first half that Tottenham had beaten United to 's Gareth Bale and Sergio Reguilon.

Manchester United suffered a 3-1 opening day defeat at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday

suffered a 3-1 opening day defeat at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday

The comparisons were not favourable to United and nowhere more so than on the pitch where they were exposed and dispatched by a sharper, better Crystal Palace team.

It was United's heaviest opening-game defeat since losing 3-1 at Aston Villa a quarter of a century ago.

The Alan Hansen-induced pessimism surrounding Sir Alex Ferguson's kids proved unfounded then and now it falls on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to lift the mood of negativity hanging over the club.

A big signing is needed to raise spirits and keep pace with the rest. Other clubs have kicked on and United must do the same or risk being left behind.

In that respect, they are lucky to have a club man like Solskjaer in charge. Other managers - notably a former incumbent from Portugal - would have been raising hell by now.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must lift the negative mood currently surrounding Old Trafford

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must lift the negative mood currently surrounding Old Trafford 

It remains to be seen if United have the money or powers of persuasion to prise Jadon Sancho from before the transfer deadline, but the arrival of Bruno Fernandes in January transformed the club last season and it feels as though something similar is needed now.

'We have a very good group but I think we need more players to strengthen the squad,' said defender Luke Shaw.

'When you look around at how other teams are strengthening their teams, we must do it to keep up. It's the start of a new season, we should have been fresh. Possibly everything went wrong. A lot of things were said after the game and we need to put it to bed.'

Shaw shared Solskjaer's view that having the whole squad back together for only a week had contributed to United's lethargy. But how under-cooked can a team be after the shortest off-season in living memory?

Luke Shaw said he believes United need more signings to strengthen their current squad

Luke Shaw said he believes United need more signings to strengthen their current squad

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