David Moyes
David Moyes [Reuters]

David Moyes criticised the officials claiming that Manchester United are playing the opposition as well as the referees in the aftermath of their first leg defeat in the semi-final of the Capital One Cup against Sunderland on Tuesday.

The 50-year-old was unhappy with the referees for making controversial decisions after witnessing his side suffer a 1-2 defeat at the Stadium of Light. The Red Devils conceded a goal on the cusp of half-time, after poor defending from a set piece saw Ryan Giggs tap the ball past his own goalkeeper.

Nemanja Vidic equalised for the visitors after 52 minutes on the clock but the euphoria was short-lived. Fabio Borini put the Black Cats ahead from the spot 12 minutes later when Tom Cleverley was adjudged to have fouled Adam Johnson inside the box.

"It looks as if we're having to play them [referees] as well as the opposition at the moment. It's really terrible, it really is, we're actually beginning to laugh at them," Moyes told Sky Sports.

"We conceded a terrible first goal from the free-kick, but it was never a free-kick, it was our free-kick. I thought the referee was going to blow in our direction. I couldn't believe he gave a free-kick for that Jonny Evans challenge on [Steven] Fletcher in the air, it was just a terrible decision," he added.

Moyes' side suffered a 1-2 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford in the Premier League on New Year's Day. Following the defeat, the United manager expressed his anger at the officials for not awarding a penalty after Hugo Lloris challenged Ashley Young inside the box.

The Scotsman then saw his team face elimination from the FA Cup in the third round after losing to Swansea City at home by the same score line last Sunday.

But despite enduring their third consecutive defeat on Tuesday, the former Everton manager believes that the English champions can turn the tide in their favour when the Black Cats travel to Old Trafford on January 22 for the second leg.

"This is a two-legged game, and I'm really looking forward to the second leg now. Our crowd were unbelievable tonight, the support they gave the team and me was terrific," the United manager concluded.

United languish seventh in the league table with 34 points after 20 games and will face Swansea in the league clash on Saturday. Moyes will be hoping that his side can put their recent woes behind and get back to winning ways.