DAVID MOYES bemoaned Manchester United's bad luck and criticised the officials after watching his side lose the first leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final at the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland head for Old Trafford in a fortnight with a 2-1 lead and Moyes was furious at referee Andre Marriner's decision to award a decisive penalty against United in the second half.
Italian forward Fabio Borini, on a season long loan from Liverpool, converted to condemn the Premier League champions to a third successive defeat.
But Moyes, also frustrated with the decision to give Steven Fletcher a first half free-kick which led to Ryan Giggs scoring in his own net, was angry that Tom Cleverley was deemed to have brought down Adam Johnson.
“How the referee has given a free-kick for the first is way beyond me,” said the Manchester United boss.
“I just cannot see how that is a free-kick. The centre-forward and the centre-half jumped together and he gave them a free-kick and the penalty? We had a player booked for that the other day against Tottenham.
“The referee is in a great position to look at it, down the line, probably 15 yards, not too close, and the linesman gives it from behind and he cannot see through Patrice Evra. That is what we’re finding at the moment.
“We had a brilliant support, our support was fantastic, the way they supported me and the club tonight was nothing short of exceptional and the team showed it as well. The performance was good without having the last bit.”
Moyes admitted United's troubles this season are being experienced for the first time in decades. He said: “This hasn’t happened at Man United for a long time. I thought the support were great for sticking with their club, sticking with their manager and that is exactly what you need when you are not doing so well.”