VIDEO: The controversial penalty that saw United lose for the third straight game

Tom Cleverley 2

Tom Cleverley's foul on Adam Johnson saw Fabio Borini score from the penalty spot - but should it have been given?

 David Moyes must have thought his job at Manchester United could scarcely get any tougher. Coming up against a team bottom of the Premier League and without a win against the Reds since 2000 seemed like the perfect fillip for his troubled week 

Sorry David, but it looks like when you're down you're down. 

Manchester United lost for the third time in six days to see them emerge from the first leg of the League Cup semi-final in real danger of being knocked out by Gus Poyet's Sunderland.

And it was a contested penalty that was the key moment in the match as United were defeated 2-1 at the Stadium of Light. 

Before that though, came the bizarre moment Ryan Giggs scored the first own goal of his long and illustrious career, diverting a set piece past David de Gea before former United defender Phil Bardsley could tap home. 

The lead lasted just a few minutes, with Nemanja Vidic powering a header home. But any hope that United could push on from there was abandoned following the controversial awarding of a penalty to Sunderland following Tom Cleverley's challenge on substitute Adam Johnson. 

The challenge from Cleverley seemed clumsy, with former City player Johnson bursting past him and then cutting into the box directly in front of him.

But it is hard to see what Cleverley could have done to get out of the way of the rampaging winger, while also debatable is how much he caught the winger and whether the challenge was even inside the box.

Referee Andre Marriner initially seemed to wave play on, before his assistant on the right hand side notified him of the apparent infringement. 

image: © joncandy

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