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Sunderland stuns Man United in first leg of League Cup semis

DavidMoyesManchesterUnited1-Liverpool2013 (Getty)


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.


  1. Will respond to my Jozy comments on the Sunderland-Man U “Running Commentary” thread here.

    On the day after I still see Jozy’s performance yesterday as “awesome.” He came in during the 72nd minute to help Sunderland hold a 2-1 lead. And his performance was spotless, not one single mistake and he was a handful for Man U defenders, forcing Smalling on one play to bat the ball away with his hand. If Smalling had not handled the ball, Jozy would have been off to the races with nothing except De Gea between him and the goal. Yes, a third goal would have been great before the final game of the tie at Old Trafford in two weeks. But that was not Jozy’s assignment. His job was to preserve the win (and give Raphael a bit of TLC for the toe-stomp on Borini 🙂 and now Man U must win in two weeks to advance to the dinal. A draw means Man U is out of cup contention once again.

    And one last thing: How many times have we seen great strikers like Lewandoski after a game winning effort rewarded with top rating, if not named MOTM, when they don’t score, but simply because they caused havoc for the opponents defense. That is what Jozy did yesterday. True, he it did against a weak team with a clueless coach, but still Jozy deserves recognition for a job well done.

    • biff, i agree with you.

      jozy’s #1 job at that point in the game was not to score goals, it was to preserve the lead.

      too often people think in terms of positions/roles as static–as in, “the man up top needs to score goals”. especially in the modern game, this is simply not true. the *team* needs to score goals; not any one individual player. yes, the blame most likely falls on the striker if the team is not scoring goals–he is, after all, usually the closest to the net.

      but most managers are mature enough to understand that a player’s success (in whatever position) depends on what they are asked to do at a certain point in time.

    • Ha-ha. Two things: 1) It appears Raphael was silly enough to try to man-handle big Jozy and got schooled. 2) Raphael a few minutes before this incident had stomped on Borini’s foot long after Borini had already passed the ball and should have received a second yellow card and Raphael should not have been on the field by the time Jozy entered the game. Cannot wait for the rematch in two weeks at Old Trafford.

  2. “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” — nope that would be poor coaching.. Learn from you recent mistakes!

    “He added: “Maybe I’ve got to understand that’s what happens at Man United.”” — please!!!! I cant think of a team in the world that has consistantly gotten as much help from the yellow team over the years than ManU!!!

    That said it was a pretty soft foul.. Stay classly Moyes

  3. Well David, what happens at Manchester United is you get the benefit of every call. That is, unless you command zero respect from officials and players.


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