Manchester United manager David Moyes thinks referees have become the 12th member of the opposition following Tuesday’s Capital One Cup semi-final first-leg loss at Sunderland.
It was the Red Devils’ third straight loss for the first time since 2001, after Ryan Giggs’ own goal in first-half injury-time gave the hosts the lead and Nemanja Vidic levelled with a towering header soon after the interval.
Moyes was upset when Sunderland’s Adam Johnson won a penalty under Tom Cleverley’s challenge which led to Fabio Borini’s winner in the 2-1 loss at the Stadium of Light.
“We’re having to play them (referees) as well as the opposition at the moment,” he told Sky Sports.
“It’s really terrible. We’re actually beginning to laugh at them [the referees].”
Referee Andre Marriner awarded the Black Cats the spot kick in the 64th minute after consulting one of his assistants following the incident.
Moyes complained: “How could the linesman give that?”
“The ref was looking straight at it but the linesman would have to have seen straight through Patrice Evra to give it.
“We had a player booked the other day for a similar thing that they got a penalty for.
“The decision for the first goal, I don’t see how it was a free-kick. That doesn’t take away our poor defending from the free-kick, though.”
Sunderland now heads into the second-leg at Old Trafford on January 22 with a 1-goal lead and, despite the defeat, the former Everton manager still expects to take a shot at his first title at United in the Wembley final.
“I’m actually really looking forward to this,” he added, looking ahead to the second leg in a fortnight’s time.
“More important is how good the Manchester United supporters were – how well they supported me and how well they supported the club.
“They realise we are having a difficult time right now and they are not used to this, but good supporters stick with their team, they stick with their manager.”
United, who lost out of the FA Cup to Swansea on Saturday, are currently trailing league leaders Arsenal by 11 points following their 2-1 defeat by Spurs.