"Quite a few but I wouldn't really speak about it,” David Moyes replied, “I think that seems to be the best way to do it.” He wasn’t wrong. Moyes felt aggrieved by Mark Clattenburg’s refereeing; for awarding Liverpool three penalties and for sending off Nemanja Vidić, but to pontificate about it would have been futile. Liverpool outplayed Manchester United and he wasn’t prepared to mask that fact.
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“We didn't play well. Liverpool deserved the victory,” Moyes admitted. “Some decisions were correct, some were incorrect but I think, overall, disappointing. It was difficult to explain it. I thought that the real turning moment was the second penalty kick just after half time. I had barely taken my seat. To lose that then made it very difficult for us.
“I just think that Liverpool played well. I think Liverpool played well. We didn't play as well as we can and we will work to make that better.”
Moyes’s press conference lasted just over six minutes and took half as long as Brendan Rodgers’s. Reporters have become so accustomed to watching United lose this season that they are running out of questions to ask this struggling Scot. Moyes has had a tendency to lose or draw in outstandingly original ways, and perhaps the most humiliating aspect of Liverpool’s resurgence is they finished 28 points behind United 10 months ago.
Now, Rodgers’s team are five places above them and 14 points ahead. They embody the traits that make the most successful teams in this era stand out, whereas United are a direct and laboured side struggling to create chances, let alone score them.
What was startling about Moyes’s analysis was that he seemed, not for the first time, unable to answer why. There were plenty of logical explanations to conclude why United had lost so abjectly, yet he appeared incapable of citing them.
Rodgers said he was "surprised" Moyes labelled Liverpool favourites for the game prior to the match. "I'd never say that at Liverpool even if I was bottom of the league." If that is an unfamiliar scenario, Moyes's post-mortem was very familiar.
“It wasn't what we expected. I said I felt as if our players looked in good shape going into it but we just didn't get to the standards required to beat Liverpool today.
“I've seen confident players and I've seen well-motivated and hard-working players and conscientious players, so I hadn't seen that.” Moyes allowed himself a wee chuckle when he admitted the job succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson was “harder” than he imagined it would be.
Despite witnessing one of Liverpool’s most comprehensive victories at Old Trafford, the home supporters were at their loudest when the game was lost. It was reminiscent of Chelsea’s 3-0 victory at the ground in December 2001, which was, appropriately, United’s worst season before Moyes took over, when they finished third and only relinquished their title in the penultimate game of the campaign. What Moyes would give for such a season now.
“I thought it was unbelievable backing they gave the team. Fantastic… Our supporters were brilliant today,” Moyes remarked. It was the most bullish he sounded, alas his name was not chanted once on Sunday afternoon.