A DEJECTED David Moyes admitted Manchester United got what they deserved as they crashed out of the Capital One Cup at the hands of Sunderland.
The reigning Premier League champions' nightmare season went from bad to worse as Danny Welbeck, Adnan Januzaj, Phil Jones and Rafael Da Silva all missed penalties in a dramatic shoot-out defeat.
The impending £40m arrival of Juan Mata from Chelsea should help lift morale slightly, but with the Champions League now the only silverware realistically available, Moyes' first season since replacing Sir Alex Ferguson could hardly have been any more traumatic.
“I'm disappointed,” said the Manchester United boss. “We didn't play well over the piece to feel as if we should have won the tie. I didn't feel we played well enough on the night.
“It's part and parcel of the job at times, but there has always got to be a loser in a semi-final, and that's us.”
Having conceded a 119th-minute goal to Phil Bardsley when the full-back's speculative shot squirmed from David De Gea's grasp, Manchester United looked to have secured a lifeline when Javier Hernandez converted Januzaj's cross in the final minute of extra-time.
With Sunderland heads having dropped at such a dramatic denouement, the hosts started as favourites at the start of the shoot-out.
Their prospects looked to have improved further when Craig Gardner sent Sunderland's first spot-kick spiralling over the crossbar, but Darren Fletcher was the only Manchester United player to score as a series of increasingly dreadful penalties culminated in Vito Mannone saving Rafael's strike.
“We did not execute our penalties well enough, it's as simple as that,” said Moyes. “There have been other games where we have played well and not won, but tonight I don't think we were good enough. If we had of done, we would have stumbled over the line.
“We played quite well at Chelsea (when they lost 3-1 last weekend), and I thought we would have been fine tonight. We got the goal in front, but didn't keep the ball well enough then. Confident is an issue, of course it is. We had chances to finish them off, and we didn't.”