Skip to main content

Manchester United boss David Moyes bemoans 'bad luck'

updated 4:18 PM EST, Sat February 1, 2014
David Moyes was left with plenty to ponder after Manchester United's first league defeat against Stoke since 1984.
David Moyes was left with plenty to ponder after Manchester United's first league defeat against Stoke since 1984.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • David Moyes suffers eight defeat in 24 league matches in charge of Manchester United
  • Saturday's 2-1 loss to Stoke was United's first in the league to that team since 1984
  • Manager Moyes blames bad luck and poor finishing in front of goal
  • Reverse means United may fall nine points behind fourth place by end of weekend

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- Bad luck, or just another step in Manchester United's fall from dominance?

The club's share price may have recovered a little since last month's $61 million marquee signing of Juan Mata from Chelsea, but qualification for the lucrative European Champions League is looking further away than ever for beleaguered manager David Moyes.

Mata helped United win on his debut against lowly Cardiff in midweek, but the Spaniard could not stop his new team crashing to a 2-1 defeat at unfancied Stoke.

It means fourth-placed Liverpool can move nine points clear of United in the Premier League on Sunday with a win at struggling West Brom.

Table-topping Manchester City, meanwhile, will go 16 points ahead of United with victory over second-placed Chelsea on Monday.

Moyes has had a tough time since replacing Alex Ferguson, the most successful manager in the history of English football, and he was left bemoaning his fortunes after losing two players to injury and conceding a wickedly-deflected free-kick.

However, while Charlie Adam's first goal may have been fortuitous, his second -- which made Robin van Persie's equalizer redundant -- was a moment of magic as the Scottish midfielder smashed in a 25-yard thunderbolt.

It was United's eighth league defeat in 24 matches, compared to just five in 38 in Ferguson's championship-winning farewell. This is the club's worst run in the top flight since the 1989-90 season.

"We played well today," a defiant Moyes told MUTV. "We're definitely not getting a lot of good fortune going our way, but we've got ourselves to blame for the opportunities we missed.

"I think the free-kick summed it up. That went in after we'd controlled the majority of the game. I think it was going wide, but it took a wicked deflection and went in. That's when you know that your luck isn't in. It's just not going for us.

"It was a difficult day, the conditions were tough. We had opportunities to get at least a draw and they scored a world-class second goal which was hard to defend against."

While United's attack has been bolstered by the arrival of Mata and the return from injury of last season's top scorer Van Persie and England striker Wayne Rooney, Moyes' defensive options are looking thinner after Phil Jones was stretchered off before halftime and fellow center-back Jonny Evans suffered a calf injury.

"Phil is okay. He was unconscious for a period during the game, but he's had a head scan and the hospital has checked him and there were no problems," Moyes said.

It was Stoke's first league win against United since 1984, when manager Mark Hughes was a 20-year-old striker playing for the Manchester side.

His team leaped out of the bottom three up to 11th in the table after winning just its sixth game.

"That tells you how crazy the league is at the moment," said Hughes, whose side are just six points above bottom club Fulham.

Read: Will Man Utd regret Moyes appointment?

Moyes' former team Everton, meanwhile, moved up to fifth place -- which would secure a spot in the second-tier Europa League next season -- with a 2-1 win over Aston Villa.

Belgium forward Kevin Mirallas fired in a superb 85th-minute free-kick as Everton bounced back from last week's 4-0 drubbing by Merseyside rivals Liverpool, with substitute Steven Naismith equalizing Leandro Bacuna's first-half opener for the 10th-placed visitors.

Tottenham, beaten 5-1 by Manchester City in midweek, dropped to sixth after being held 1-1 at Hull.

Brazil midfielder Paulinho, returning after a month sidelined by injury, canceled out new signing Shane Long's opener for the home side.

Newcastle failed to join seventh-placed Manchester United on 40 points after losing 3-0 at home to northeast rivals Sunderland, who completed a derby double and continued a resurgence under manager Gus Poyet by moving up to 14th.

Southampton consolidated ninth place with a 3-0 win at Fulham, who dropped to the foot of the table despite fielding two new loan signings, Denmark midfielder William Kvist and Tottenham's Germany international Lewis Holtby.

West Ham's relegation battle was boosted by a 2-0 win at Swansea that left the London team third from bottom, but star striker Andy Carroll was sent off after setting up both goals for Kevin Nolan.

Former Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solkskjaer enjoyed his first win in charge of Cardiff, beating Norwich 2-1, but the Welsh club was still left second from bottom.

Read: Transfer deadline day - Who went where?

Read: Spanish team banned for on-pitch protest

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:23 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
After 20 years, more than 300 goals and a host of major honors, Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering football career.
updated 5:14 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
They do things differently at Sociedad Deportiva Eibar, up in the mist-cloaked valleys of the Basque country. And it is working.
updated 8:53 AM EST, Wed December 10, 2014
He might be struggling to score goals for Liverpool, but Mario Balotelli's cheeky tweet about the British monarch hit the spot during the World Cup.
updated 8:53 AM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
How Real Madrid's new stadium will look
They splash the cash on the world's best players, now Real Madrid are giving the Bernabeu the same treatment with a bling makeover.
updated 9:09 AM EDT, Mon October 27, 2014
Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
updated 9:48 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
A man as a Roman centurion and who earn his living by posing with tourists gestures in front of the Colosseum during a protest where some of his colleagues climbed on the monument on April 12, 2012 in Rome. The costumed centurions are asking for the right to work there after they were banned following a decision by local authorities.
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
updated 12:22 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
updated 10:11 AM EDT, Fri October 17, 2014
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
updated 2:19 PM EDT, Sat October 18, 2014
Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
updated 8:47 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
updated 6:34 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
A football fan wipes a tear after Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti has greeted fans following the announcement of his retirement before the start of the Italian seria A football match Inter Milan vs Lazio, on May 10, 2014, in San Siro Stadium In Milan
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
updated 6:41 PM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
updated 9:10 AM EDT, Fri October 10, 2014
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
updated 10:53 AM EDT, Thu October 2, 2014
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
updated 9:28 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.
ADVERTISEMENT