Manchester United 0 Liverpool 3: Wayne Rooney claims 'that was my worst day in football' following humiliation at Old Trafford
It is a ‘nightmare’ for Rooney as United concede three penalties and have man sent off in 3-0 home thumping by Liverpool
Monday 17 March 2014
Wayne Rooney described the atmosphere in the Manchester United dressing room as a “nightmare” after Liverpool inflicted the sixth and most humiliating home defeat of a disastrous season.
With his close friend and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard noting that Brendan Rodgers’ side were disappointed not to have won by a greater margin than 3-0, Rooney said: “It is like a nightmare. It is one of the worst days I have ever had in football.
“It is hard to take. You have go give Liverpool credit; they played well but it is difficult for us to take. Nobody wants to lose, especially in this way, in your own stadium.”
The shambolic nature of United’s performance was demonstrated by the fact that they conceded three penalties and finished the match with 10 men after their captain, Nemanja Vidic, who is quitting the club for Internazionale at the end of the season, brought down Daniel Sturridge. Gerrard missed one spot kick but United might have given away two more and Diego Maradona, watching from the directors’ box, saw his spiritual successor, Luis Suarez, put away Liverpool’s third.
Rooney admitted “the game plan went out the window when we went two down”, although few imagined that a tactically incoherent United ever possessed any such thing as a plan. Unless they play with considerably more discipline on Wednesday night they will be eliminated from the Champions League, a competition nobody here expects them to re-qualify for.
The only time Maradona played at Old Trafford was in 1984 when a Manchester United side driven forward by Bryan Robson overturned a two-goal deficit in the Cup-Winners’ Cup against Barcelona. That is precisely what United have to do against Olympiakos to remain in the Champions League. Unless they do, David Moyes’ position as manager will seem even more perilous than it does two months before the end of his first season of a six-year contract.
The most damning statistic against Moyes is that under him the champions of England have managed to beat only one team in the top nine of the Premier League. “That tells you that we are not doing as well as we should be,” he said with considerable understatement.
A downbeat David Moyes leaves the pitch (GETTY) “We have to play better and we are going to have to make ourselves harder to beat. We have got to make sure we are creating more and taking more of our opportunities.”
In what Sir Alex Ferguson, who was watching from the stands, always described as United’s most important fixture of the season, Moyes named an aggressive starting line-up featuring Rooney, Robin van Persie, Adnan Januzaj and Juan Mata. Between them they created one clear-cut scoring opportunity, a shot from Rooney that Simon Mignolet pushed aside.
Moyes was asked why in a game he had to win to preserve his waning credibility he had described Liverpool, who had lost 10 of their previous 11 matches at Old Trafford, as “favourites”. Rodgers afterwards remarked that he would not have described any team coming to Anfield as favourites “even if Liverpool were bottom of the table”.
Moyes replied: “Liverpool were above us in the league, playing well and any average person would have said the same thing. I think people are entitled to their opinion.”
In one of the most humiliating afternoons many of them could have experienced and beneath a banner that proclaimed Moyes “The Chosen One”, the Stretford End sang for a beaten, disintegrating team to the very end.
“The supporters were unbelievable in the backing they gave the team,” said Moyes, who was asked if he thought that backing might evaporate. “Results will always dictate that but I can only tell you what I heard. They are supporting their team in a difficult period. They were fantastic and brilliant. They shouted plenty and we didn’t give them anything on the field.”
Latest in Sport
Arsenal and Puma unveil world's first left-footed football
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?
WWE Raw results: Brock Lesnar suspended for post-Wrestlemania 31 rampage after losing title to Seth Rollins
WrestleMania 31: The Undertaker begins a new streak after tombstoning Bray Wyatt
Louis van Gaal: Manchester United boss reveals that being a 'slow player' made him a better manager on warts and all documentary
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 3 Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
- 4 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 5 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans