David Moyes Probed by FA After Sunderland vs. Manchester United Referee Rant

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2014

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - JANUARY 07:  David Moyes manager of Manchester United applauds the travelling fans after the Capital One Cup Semi-Final, first leg match between Sunderland and Manchester United at Stadium of Light on January 7, 2014 in Sunderland, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

David Moyes was in spiky mood following Manchester United's third consecutive loss on Tuesday, a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Sunderland in the first leg of their Capital One Cup semifinal.

And he may have talked himself into trouble with the FA, according to Jamie Jackson of the Guardian:

An FA spokesman said, per talkSPORT:

We are looking into David Moyes' comments to the media following the match at Sunderland.

We are also contacting both clubs to seek their observations in relation to the use of flares last night.

Moyes was angered by a free-kick—given against Jonny Evans—that led to Sunderland's first goal, and his mood was soured further when a penalty was given against Tom Cleverley.

The Red Devils boss commented in the aftermath that his side are "having to play" the referees as well as the opposition, with the notion that his side are being unfairly treated by the officials.

Colin Young of the Daily Mail quotes Moyes saying:

After the first 15 minutes I thought we were very good. We defended a terrible free-kick, but how the referee has given a free-kick for that is way beyond me. 

I just cannot see how that is a free-kick. And the penalty? We had a player booked for that the other day against Tottenham. The referee is in a great position to look at it, down the line, 15 yards, and the linesman gives it from behind and he cannot see through Patrice Evra. 

That is what we’re finding at the moment. The performance was good without having the last bit. I have experience and I can sense it’s on the verge of turning. I sense we’re about to get a bit better.

Andre Marriner had little choice in giving Fabio Borini the decisive spot-kick after linesman Peter Bankes raised his flag in order to give the referee a clearer idea of what had occurred.

CARDIFF, WALES - DECEMBER 26:  Referee Andre Marriner gives a decision during the Barclays Premier League match between Cardiff City and Southampton at Cardiff City Stadium on December 26, 2013 in Cardiff, Wales.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

As ex-Premier League referee Graham Poll hints in Young's column, although Cleverley's contact with Adam Johnson inside the area was minimal, it was punishable all the same, and an irresponsible decision from the United midfielder.

Evans, too, was guilty of a needless knee into the back of Steven Fletcher, leading to Sunderland's opener. Both decisions were avoidable, but Moyes should be looking at his own players rather than the officials.

As the Daily Mail's Lee Clayton hinted, Moyes is still trying to get out from under the shadow of his predecessor:

It's the first time since 1992 that the club have lost three games in a week, the latest in a growing list of unenviable records being broken under Moyes' management.

The Scot does, however, remain upbeat about the signs of progress that he feels his side are showing. Others may not be quite as full of praise.

Former Norwegian international Jan Aage Fjortoft has noted that the Premier League champions are still reeling as a result of a poor summer transfer window:

This weekend's meeting against Swansea City holds a special significance for the Welsh club, who have already managed one win at Old Trafford in the last week following their 2-1 FA Cup triumph.

Moyes is undoubtedly a manager feeling hot under the collar right now, despite the positive facade that he continues to exude.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 05:  Manchester United Manager David Moyes reacts during the FA Cup with Budweiser Third round match between Manchester United and Swansea City at Old Trafford on January 5, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livese
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Moyes' criticism of Marriner's decision to award Tuesday evening's decisive penalty is something that may now warrant retrospective action from the Football Association, as the Scot continues to endure a hiccup-ridden first term as Manchester United manager.

He previously moaned at decisions that went against his team in the 2-1 loss to Tottenham, per Sky Sports, but the truth is United's problems lie much closer to home than the odd questionable call from an official.