Sunderland take a one goal lead in the first leg of the League Cup semi-final fixture as Manchester United suffered their third defeat in a row.
Manchester United continued their winless run in this new-year as they crumbled to their third defeat in a row, something which hasn’t happened since 2001. Talking of records, this was also Sunderland’s first win over Manchester United in their last 21 meetings in all competitions. This loss has put David Moyes under tremendous pressure Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton looked visibly disappointed after the result in the stands. This semi-final fixture represented their best chance for a silverware this season after being knocked out of the FA Cup by Swansea, and they now need to turn things around in the second leg to keep their hopes alive.
The home side took the lead right at dying moments of the first half after Larsson found Wes Brown free at the back post with a wonderful free-kick. The former Manchester United defender found Bardsley with the pull back and he glided in to put the ball into the back of the net, although the replay showed that Ryan Giggs got the last touch and it was an own goal. It didn’t take long for United to draw level in the second half as Vidic scored with a powerful header from a corner. Cleverley provided a wonderful delivery at the far post for that goal. But the midfielder was involved in another crucial moment twelve minutes later as he brought down Adam Johnson inside the box and Sunderland were awarded a penalty. Fabio Borini stepped up and fired the ball into the roof of the net to score the winner.
David Moyes was furious about the penalty decision and claimed that his side have had to not only play the opponent, but also the referees recently.
“We had a player booked for the same challenge the other day, for doing the same thing. It’s up to the referees, they’re making their minds up.
“It looks as if we’re having to play them as well as the opposition at the moment.
“It’s really terrible, it really is, we’re actually beginning to laugh at them.
“We just need to keep going, we didn’t do an awful lot wrong. We conceded a terrible first goal from the free-kick, but it was never a free-kick, it was our free-kick.
“I thought the referee was going to blow in our direction. I couldn’t believe he gave a free-kick for that Jonny Evans challenge on Fletcher in the air, it was just a terrible decision.
“We’ve got an opposition to play and sometimes we’ve got other people to play at the moment.” – The Manchester United manager said.
Moyes also claimed that he isn’t under any pressure due to their league standings and insisted that his team didn’t do too much wrong on the night.
“This is a two-legged game, and I’m really looking forward to the second leg now.
“Our crowd were unbelievable tonight, the support they gave the team and me was terrific. The players deserved it because they did well enough to get a result.
“We’ll do everything that we can to try and get it right. The players put in a strong performance tonight, it just didn’t quite come off. It’s not far away and it’s coming, I can sense it.” – Moyes added.