22/09/2013 15:05 BST

Manchester City 4-1 Manchester United: David Moyes Laments 'Second Best' Reds

"I've not even thought about Wednesday yet," David Moyes replied when asked about Manchester United's League Cup tie with Liverpool. Still raw, if not raging, from his maiden Manchester derby defeat, his displeasure was evident and unlike at Anfield on 1 September, there would be no papering over another anodyne display.

Sir Alex Ferguson's first visit to Maine Road as United manager ended in the infamous 5-1 embarrassment of '89, and while Moyes' experience was one goal shy of that result the chasm which has grown between the two Manchester clubs separated by 11 points in May is galling.

City's shrewd business in the transfer market, compared with United having the window shut on their desperate fingers, was highlighted at Eastlands and Moyes acknowledged the hosts' superiority.

Moyes was disappointed by United's lack of competitiveness

"We certainly didn't start the game very well, Manchester City were the better team in the early part and we found it difficult to contain them," the Scot said. "I'm disappointed we didn't perform.

"It was one game and there are plenty more to come and there's time for us to try and fix it.

Moyes has brought some much-needed steel to United's midfield in Marouane Fellaini, but even the Belgian was dismissed with ease by the indomitable Yaya Touré. Michael Carrick's poor form continued and he, along with other United players, was guilty of not contesting certain 50-50s rigorously enough.

Such tentativeness dismayed Moyes.

"We were second to things in the first half, especially," he admitted. "We always seemed to be a yard behind and we never really quite got to grips with it right from the off."

Carrick had a day to forget at Eastlands

This is United's worst start since the dismal 2004-05 campaign when they finished third - and 18 points - behind José Mourinho's Chelsea and lost the FA Cup final to Arsenal, with the Glazers' takeover thrown in for good measure.

Under Ferguson they were famed for their reactions and Moyes expects one from "all of them" who started Sunday.

"And I've made them aware of that as well," he added dauntingly. "I think if ever there's a group of players who I'd expect that from it would be from Manchester United players. That's what they do."

So was the hairdryer turned up?

"No, I think it's just... I don't know. I think it's just what I would've done. I've been here with Everton many times and never suffered a defeat like this. They're good players here, good pros and know when they're bang at it and when they're not."

Wayne Rooney hit a record 11th Manchester derby goal

Wayne Rooney was a positive, though. "I've got to say I thought Wayne Rooney was arguably the best player on the pitch today," he enthused. "He certainly didn't deserve to play on the losing team, that's for sure. He was outstanding today." The absent Robin van Persie's groin injury is "not that bad".

Scoring goals in the league are a problem even with the striking duo. United haven't scored from open play since the opening day win at Swansea and Rooney's free-kick was the third set-piece the Reds have notched in their last two domestic matches.

Conceding goals are an issue, too.