Manchester United defending was 'rank and rotten' says David Moyes following loss to Everton

United conceded two soft goals at Goodison Park

David Moyes raged at his Manchester United players on Sunday night, accusing them of “rank and rotten defending” during his woefully unsuccessful return to Goodison Park.

Last May Moyes' eyes filled with tears as he bade farewell to 40,000 clapping Everton fans who were sad to see his 11-year reign come to an end.

But this time a large number of those very same supporters heckled and booed the Scot as his United team slipped to a 2-0 defeat.

One fan even turned up in a Grim Reaper's outfit and waved his scythe in Moyes' direction from just behind the dugout.

A large number of United fans are wondering how many more defeats the board will take before they wield the axe on Moyes.

Once Phil Jones stuck out his arm to give Everton a penalty, United never looked like winning. Leighton Baines - courted by United last summer - blasted past David de Gea before Kevin Mirallas rounded off an easy win just before half-time.

Moyes tried to put a positive spin on the defeat, but he could not hide his anger at his team's defending.

"I thought the two goals we conceded were rank, rotten," the United boss said.

"The (first) goal was a big kick up the pitch, it was nodded down and picked up, and for us to concede a goal like that was terrible.

"The second was a better move but we should have defended it much better that we did."

 

Critics lined up to criticise Moyes for his tactics, team selection and his assertion that United were not actually that bad in the first 45 minutes.

Almost every observer - neutral or otherwise - would agree United never looked like coming away from Merseyside with anything other than a defeat.

United were outclassed in every department on the pitch while Moyes was out-thought by his replacement Roberto Martinez, whose Everton side put on a luscious display of inventive, counter-attacking football.

Everton are just one point adrift of the Champions League places, but for United their hopes of a top-four finish are now over.

Moyes had every reason to be annoyed with his players. A few of them did not seem up for it.

But the Scot knows results will decide his future. After the match he once again spoke of how things will get better after a revamp of the playing squad this summer.

But while most United fans could live with the idea of losing Rio Ferdinand, Nani or Javier Hernandez in the summer, they do not want to see the back of striker Danny Welbeck.

That may well be the case though after it was reported that the England striker wants to leave his boyhood club after becoming annoyed at a lack of first-team football.

Moyes said Welbeck still has a big role to play at United.

"Danny Welbeck is really important to me, to Manchester United, and I really value him," he said.

Martinez meanwhile, hopes Arsenal slip up and hand the initiative back to his team in the hunt for fourth place, but the Everton boss thinks he has a tough task ahead of him.

"We have another nine points to fight for," Martinez said.

"We play Manchester City, Southampton, and Hull a week before the cup final. You couldn't pick a worse three games."

PA

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