Soccer - English League CupWednesday, January 8, 2014
Third straight loss for Man United
Borini gives Sunderland 2-1 lead
Sunderland gained the upper hand on Manchester United by deservedly winning their League Cup semifinal, first leg 2-1 to intensify the pressure on visiting manager David Moyes after a testing week.
SUNDERLAND, England — Manchester United was condemned to a third consecutive 2-1 defeat at the start of 2014 yesterday as Sunderland won the first leg of their League Cup semifinal to add to manager David Moyes’ troubles.
Fabio Borini scored from the penalty spot in the 65th minute to ensure Sunderland, which is bottom of the Premier League, has the edge going into the second leg at Old Trafford on January 22.
Sunderland took the lead when 40-year-old United veteran Ryan Giggs inadvertently bundled the ball into his own net just before halftime when under pressure from Phil Bardsley.
Nemanja Vidic headed United level in the 52nd, but a comeback was thwarted by United midfielder Tom Cleverley fouling Adam Johnson to concede the penalty.
And Moyes, emulating predecessor Alex Ferguson, restored to blaming referees for United’s poor run.
“I feel we are having to play the opposition and the officials at this moment in time,” Moyes said.
“Maybe I’ve got to understand that’s what happens at Man United. But if we do, we certainly aren’t getting much in our favour at this moment in time.”
Borini’s goal extended United’s miserable start to the year, which has now seen a hat trick of 2-1 losses for Moyes’ side.
United, which won the Premier League by 11 points last season, is now 11 points behind leader Arsenal after losing to Tottenham on New Year’s Day.
And the FA Cup quest ended at the first hurdle on Sunday as Swansea won their third round meeting at Old Trafford.