Rooney says Manchester United’s 3-0 loss to Liverpool ‘a nightmare’
MANCHESTER UNITED 0
Gerrard 34’ (pen), 46’ (pen), Suarez 84’
Red card: Nemanja Vidic
MANCHESTER // Wayne Rooney branded Manchester United’s 3-0 loss to Liverpool “a nightmare” and one of the worst days of his career. Steven Gerrard converted two of the three penalties that Brendan Rodgers’s side were awarded and Luis Suarez added a third goal as United slipped to a 12th loss of the season to leave them 14 points behind Liverpool.
Liverpudlian Rooney said: “It’s like a nightmare. It’s one of the worst days I’ve ever had in football. It’s hard to take. You have to give Liverpool credit – they played well – but it’s difficult to take.
“Nobody wants to lose, especially in this way, in your own stadium. It’s not nice.”
United manager David Moyes accepted that Liverpool merited their win, but struggled to find an explanation for his side’s poor performance.
“We didn’t play well,” he said. “Liverpool deserved the victory. Some of the decisions were correct, some of them were incorrect. It’s difficult to explain it.
“I felt as if the players were in good shape and good fettle going into it, but we didn’t get to the standards required.”
Moyes admitted United face an uphill task to qualify for the top four, but insisted it is still possible.
“It will be very difficult, but it’s not over yet,” he said.
Moyes conceded that he is finding life at Old Trafford more difficult than he anticipated.
“The job was always going to be hard. Harder? Yes I would say so, yes,” he said.
Rodgers, his Liverpool counterpart, shrugged off talk about his team winning the title.
“I’ve not banned it,” he said. “We have better things to talk about. We are up there on merit, so of course we have an opportunity, but I’m not losing sleep over it.”
Rodgers was delighted with his side’s display.
“To dominate the game like that was very pleasing,” he said. “I thought we were outstanding.”
The Northern Irishman was magnanimous in victory, claiming United captain Nemanja Vidic’s red card was “harsh” and that he did not want to see Rafael da Silva sent off when, already booked, he handled the ball for his side’s first spot kick.
But he added: “We are a team who gets penalties because of our aggression in our attack.”
Rodgers confessed he was taken aback by Moyes’s downbeat pre-match analysis that Liverpool were favourites.
“I was probably surprised before the game when I heard we were supposedly coming to Old Trafford here as favourites,” Rodgers said. “I would never say that at Liverpool – even if I was bottom of the league. Anfield is Anfield. We expect to win.”
While he endured a difficult first year at Anfield, as Moyes is doing at Old Trafford, Rodgers said the situations are not analogous.
“It is incomparable where we were at,” Rodgers said. “He came in and they were champions with world-class players.
“We were eighth when I came in and there was a hell of a lot of work to do.”
Asked about the turnaround, he replied: “The biggest thing we have [gained] over the last year is belief.”
Published: March 16, 2014 04:00 AM