Soccer

Sunderland add to United pain

2014-01-08 07:08
Fabio Borini (AFP)

Sunderland - Manchester United crashed to a third consecutive loss for the first time since 2001 after losing 2-1 at Sunderland in their League Cup semi-final first leg on Tuesday.

United were looking to bounce back from successive home defeats by Tottenham Hotspur, in the league, and Swansea City, in the FA Cup, but instead they lost again, and to the Premier League's bottom side.

Ryan Giggs, who had earlier hit the crossbar, gifted Sunderland the lead with an own goal and despite Nemanja Vidic equalising early in the second half, Fabio Borini's 65th-minute penalty gave the hosts victory.

For United manager David Moyes, the gloom grows ever darker, with his hopes of claiming a piece of major domestic silverware in his maiden season seriously compromised ahead of the second leg on January 22.

"It is difficult. We just need to keep going," Moyes said.

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

"We are all just laughing at them at the minute. We get a player booked for doing the same. It looks as though we are having to play them (officials) as well as the opposition at the moment.

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

Having eliminated Chelsea in the previous round, Sunderland remain on course to reach a first domestic cup final since 1992, when they lost to Liverpool in the FA Cup final.

"It would be massive (to reach the final)," manager Gus Poyet told Sky Sports.

"You don't get there too many times. It's many, many years from the last one, so we will try our best."

The importance of the fixture was evident in the fact that both managers made seven changes to the sides they fielded in the FA Cup at the weekend, although United were once again without the injured Wayne Rooney.

Eager to exploit any uncertainty in the visiting ranks, Sunderland looked to get balls into the box at the earliest opportunity and saw Borini drag an early shot wide from just outside the area.

However, emboldened by the purposeful running of Adnan Januzaj, United began to assert control of the game.

Giggs sent a deflected 25-yard shot against the crossbar, while Januzaj had a goal ruled out for offside and Vidic planted a header wide from a corner shortly before half-time.

Sunderland emerged unscathed, though, and in first-half stoppage time they exploited defensive inattention from United to go ahead.

From Sebastian Larsson's deep free-kick, Wes Brown stole in behind Michael Carrick to volley the ball back across goal, and in attempting to prevent Phil Bardsley from prodding home, Giggs succeeded only in scoring himself.

The timing of the goal felt like a sucker-punch, but United regrouped at the interval and equalised within seven minutes of kick-off in the second period.

Tom Cleverley curled a left-wing corner to the back post and Vidic out-jumped former team-mates Brown and John O'Shea to power a header past Vito Mannone.

For the umpteenth time this season, however, United's momentum was to desert them.

Jonny Evans had to hobble off with an injury, and after Borini had sliced wide and Larsson had drawn a sharp save from visiting goalkeeper David de Gea, Sunderland restored their lead.

Cleverley was adjudged to have impeded Adam Johnson as he tore into the penalty area and after referee Andre Marriner pointed to the spot, Borini calmly lifted the ball past De Gea from 12 yards.

Scorer of a brace on his previous visit to the Stadium of Light, Januzaj carried the fight to Sunderland again, shooting narrowly off target on three occasions, but even their new boy wonder could not rescue United.

Read more on:    sunderland  |  manchester united  |  league cup  |  soccer
NEXT ON SPORT24X

UEFA probes clubs' finances

2014-04-16 17:05

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
41 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

 
 
Featured Blog

The stock of Bulls and Sharks 2014 Super Rugby jerseys are slowly becoming available after the festive season break, writes blogger Baylion.

Latest blogs
Vote

Which team do you think will win the English Premiership?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.