Manchester United have been left on the brink of exit from the League Cup this season after suffering a 2-1 defeat against Sunderland in the first leg of the semifinals. After this match, manager David Moyes laid the blame on referee Andre Marriner for awarding the penalty against United. Sunderland opened the scoring in the first half through an own goal from Ryan Giggs.

However, United were level very soon in the second half after a header from Nemanja Vidic. It looked like the goal would give United a significant lead going into the second leg, but Fabio Borini’s penalty in the 65th minute gave Sunderland an unlikely win.

Andrei Marriner awarded the penalty after Cleverley appeared to bring down Adam Johnson in the box, but Moyes said that this was never a penalty. The former Everton manager has been fuming at a number of decisions going against the way of United in recent matches. He has said that United are not only playing against the opposition, but also against the referees as well. The three consecutive defeats suffered by United marks the worst run since 2001. They have a game against Swansea during the weekend. This will be at Old Trafford, where they have suffered four defeats in the last six matches.

“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. It’s really terrible, it really is, we’re actually beginning to laugh at them. We just need to keep going, we didn’t do an awful lot wrong. We conceded a terrible first goal from the free-kick, but it was never a free-kick,” said Moyes.