• Premier League

Moyes defends performance after defeat

ESPN staff
April 20, 2014
David Moyes admitted Manchester United lacked a final pass © Getty Images

David Moyes claimed Manchester United performed well in their 2-0 defeat at Everton and insisted he could not understand how his side lost the first half by two goals.

The former Everton manager suffered a second defeat of the season to his old club to mean it is mathematically impossible for United to qualify for the Champions League.

But while his side only had two shots on target at Goodison Park, Moyes insisted they were unfortunate.

"We played very well in the first half," he said in a news conference. "To go in 2-0 down wasn't what I expected. We had good play, we had good control of the game, we had the bulk of the ball.

"We had passed the ball really well, kept the ball but we didn't have the final pass, the killer through-ball or the little bit that was needed in the final third but I didn't think we deserved to go in 2-0 down at half time, that's for sure."

Leighton Baines scored a penalty after Phil Jones handled Romelu Lukaku's shot before Kevin Mirallas added a second goal.

And Moyes accepted: "I thought the two we conceded today were rank, rotten. The [first] goal was a big kick up the pitch from Ross Barkley, nodded down and picked up, for us to concede a goal like that was terrible. The second was a better move but we should have defended it much better than we did."

Roberto Martinez claimed Everton were happy to let United have the ball and for his own side to operate on the counter attack, and felt United rarely threatened Tim Howard's goal.

"It was that sort of game where we were happy for them to have the ball," he said in his news conference. "We had to be patient. Psychologically it was a tough performance because it was the first time this season we gave the ball to the opposition.

"We could have kept that better at times but it would be stupid to try and criticise a pristine performance to keep a clean sheet. I thought we were devastating on the counter attack. We were full of energy and dynamic."

Everton have already recorded their highest-ever Premier League points tally of 69 and have beaten United home and away in the league for the first time since 1969-70.

"That is a big thing," Martinez added. "We knew that since 1969 we never done the double over United and I think that is when we won the league. It tells you this group of players is ready to develop something special."

Martinez praised his predecessor Moyes for laying the foundations for his work at Goodison Park. But he stressed he has made a difference by promoting untried players after Ross Barkley and John Stones excelled in the victory over United.

He said: "I was a very fortunate man to walk into a football club that everything was in place from the work David did over 11 years. Previously I went into clubs that looked like a bomb. I wanted to change many things but I didn't want to lose anything.

"We brought in 10 players which is a massive amount and then we gave a big role for the young players. We needed that unknown quality from the younger players to see how far we could push the group but David Moyes laid the platform."

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