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United now has to beat refs too: Moyes

Updated: 2014-01-09 07:11
By Reuters in London ( China Daily)

Manchester United has to play the officials as well as the opposition, manager David Moyes complained after his side was beaten 2-1 by Sunderland in the League Cup semifinal first leg on Tuesday.

Moyes, under pressure after losing his third consecutive game in all competitions, pointed the finger at referee Andre Marriner, who he criticized for awarding a free kick that led to Sunderland's opening goal.

The referee also had a decisive hand in Sunderland's winner, pointing to the penalty spot in the second half after Adam Johnson had been felled by Tom Cleverley, allowing Fabio Borini to smash the spot kick into the roof of the net.

"It is difficult; we just need to keep going," Moyes told Sky Sports.

United now has to beat refs too: Moyes

"We didn't do a lot wrong. I thought the referee was going to blow in our direction for (the free kick that led to) the first goal. I couldn't believe he gave (Sunderland) a free kick. It was a terrible decision.

"We are all just laughing at them (the officials) at the minute.

"It looks as though we are having to play them (officials) as well as the opposition at the moment."

United, which was knocked out of the FA Cup by Swansea City on Sunday and beaten by Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on New Years' Day, has endured a miserable start to the campaign under Moyes.

With the club seventh in the Premier League and 11 points behind leader Arsenal, the League Cup had taken on added significance as Moyes' most likely route to silverware.

He remains confident of getting a result in the second leg on Jan 22, to tee up a likely final against local rival Manchester City, which plays West Ham United in the other semifinal.

"I thought the players and our crowd were unbelievable; the players deserved to get a result," he said. "It's a two-legged game and I am really looking forward to the second leg."

 United now has to beat refs too: Moyes

Sunderland's Fabio Borini scores on a penalty against Manchester United during their English League Cup semifinal first leg match at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland on Tuesday. Sunderland won 2-1. Nigel Roddis / Reuters

(China Daily 01/09/2014 page23)