Different tourney, same story for Manchester United
Manchester United manager David Moyes claimed that his side were being unfairly treated by referees after they slumped to defeat at Sunderland in their League Cup semi-final first leg.
Man Utd players look dejected after Sunderland scored their second goal. PIC/Getty Images
A second-half penalty from on-loan Liverpool forward Fabio Borini gave the home side a 2-1 victory at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday and condemned United to three consecutive defeats for the first time in 13 years.
Moyes had previously seen his team lose by the same scoreline at home to Tottenham Hotspur and Swansea City in the past week, leaving United 11 points off the pace in the Premier League and out of the FA Cup.
The Scot was angry with referee Andre Marriner for awarding a free-kick against Jonny Evans in the build-up to Sunderland’s opener, which saw Ryan Giggs turn the ball into his own net in first-half stoppage time.
“We defended a terrible free-kick, but how the referee has given a free-kick for that is way beyond me,” Moyes said. “I just cannot see how that is a free-kick.”
Nemanja Vidic equalised for United early in the second half, only for Marriner to award Sunderland a penalty after Tom Cleverley was adjudged to have impeded home substitute Adam Johnson.
Again, Moyes was unimpressed by the decision. “We are all just laughing at them at the minute,” he said. “It looks as though we are having to play them (officials) as well as the opposition at the moment.”
With their league title defence on the rocks, the return leg on January 22 may represent Moyes’ only chance of salvaging a domestic trophy from his maiden campaign.
As if to illustrate the heights from which the club have slipped this season, Moyes’ predecessor Alex Ferguson was present at the Stadium of Light, along with club greats Bobby Charlton and Bryan Robson.
However, when asked if he felt under pressure to reach the final, Moyes replied: “None whatsoever. This is a two-legged game and I’m actually really looking forward to this second leg now.”