Manchester United's 3-0 derby defeat to Manchester City on Tuesday evening proved to be a slip-up too far for some fans of the Old Trafford hosts, who vented their frustrations in the direction of both the current manager and his predecessor.
Stewards had to step in to restrain some supporters, who felt that this most recent loss, United's third in succession against City, was too much to bear, according to the Daily Mail's Adam Shergold and Ian Ladyman:
That sparked fury among United supporters, with some near manager David Moyes having to be restrained by stewards and others directing their anger at Ferguson, apparently for his role in appointing his successor.
A spectator bounded down the steps from his seat in the south stand to shout at Moyes and had to be restrained and escorted away by security staff. At the end of the match, stewards guarded the 'Chosen One' banner hanging on upper tier of the Stretford End to prevent fans removing it.
The result marks the second time this season United have suffered back-to-back home Premier League defeats, with last weekend's 3-0 loss to Liverpool also a damning signal of how things are changing at the Theatre of Dreams.
Man United World posted this image of the fans' fury on Twitter:
The Mirror's Oliver Holt and Sam Wallace of The Independent each posted lyrics to those songs being chanted by the visiting fans, who are somewhat more appreciative of Moyes' appointment:
"Fergie, Fergie give us a wave," the City fans sing.— Oliver Holt (@OllieHolt22) March 25, 2014
City fans in full voice now. "Moyesie is the chosen one," they sing.— Oliver Holt (@OllieHolt22) March 25, 2014
'Five more years, five more years' MCFC fans to Moyes— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceIndy) March 25, 2014
With that win, City now sit 15 points and five spots above seventh-placed United with two games in hand over their local rivals.
Prior to the fixture, Moyes had responded to Manuel Pellegrini's claims that there was "only one team in Manchester," per talkSPORT, putting up a confident front in regards to seeing his side bounce back from recent disappointments.
However, the most recent catastrophe in the Red Devils' miserable maiden season under their new boss has left sections of the support in disbelief at just how far they've fallen.
Shergold and Ladyman quote Moyes saying of the loss:
We didn't start the game well. They were very good but we grew into the game and up into the second goal we had a fighting chance. But we weren't good enough in the end.
I think we have played a very good side, playing at the sort of level we are aspiring to. We need to come up a couple of levels ourselves because at the moment we are not there.
Marouane Fellaini, Moyes' only high-profile signing last summer, was particularly disappointing in the defeat and fortunate not to be sent off for an elbow on Pablo Zabaleta, as Ladyman points out:
I've gone easy on Fellaini this season but he was dreadful tonight, in just about every way possible. seems to be having identity crisis— Ian Ladyman (@Ian_Ladyman_DM) March 25, 2014
The difference between the two clubs is clear when looking at the standings of the English top flight, but this performance made it visible for all to see the gulf in talent that very much exists on the pitch, too.
Ferguson's status at Old Trafford might be considered beyond tarnishing for some, but the reaction of others in the Old Trafford audience shows that even he is drawing his share of criticism for the prominent role he played in Moyes' appointment.
If Moyes' challenge in resurrecting United's season was a complex one before Tuesday's result, it's only been made harder in its wake, with the masses beginning to turn against not just the current establishment, but the one which came before it.