By CAITLIN MURRAY
Things are going from bad to worse for Manchester United and David Moyes.
Sunderland handed a beleaguered Man United their third straight loss Tuesday night, 2-1, during the first leg of their Capital One Cup semifinals series. Moyes, however, said poor refereeing played a part in denying United a result.
Sunderland took the lead in the 45th after Ryan Giggs let in an own goal while trying to keep Phil Bardsley from tapping away a cross in front of the net. United rallied and looked poised to take control of the game, finding an equalizer seven minutes into the second half when Tom Cleverley curled a corner toward the back post and Nemanja Vidic banged a header into the back of the net.
But as has been the case with Man United all season, the momentum slipped away when an aggressive tackle from Cleverley resulted in a penalty kick. Fabio Borini finished his penalty cleanly in the 65th minute, putting Sunderland ahead once again.
Jozy Altidore did not start for the Black Cats, but came off the bench and contributed 18 minutes while also picking up a yellow card.
After the match, Moyes blamed the result on poor officiating, telling Sky Sports: “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.”
He added: “Maybe I’ve got to understand that’s what happens at Man United.”
The second leg of the series will take place at Old Trafford on Jan. 22. Moyes said he felt his squad had earned a win, but looked forward to a strong second leg showing.
“Our crowd were unbelievable tonight, the support they gave the team and me was terrific,” Moyes said. “The players deserved it because they did well enough to get a result.”
What do you think of Man United’s loss? Can Sunderland win the second leg to take the Cup? Is Moyes in trouble?
Share your thoughts below.