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Dejan Lovren takes a dive

The Toe Poke

Tom Cleverley bitter over Spurs defeat

Tom Cleverley admitted Manchester United’s New Year’s Day defeat to Tottenham left them with a “sour” taste and rued the “poor” decisions referee Howard Webb took, which he believes cost them.

Okwonga: A tale of two flanks

The midfielder believes the defending champions were unlucky after Webb ignored United’s appeals for a penalty after Hugo Lloris challenged Ashley Young in an 86th-minute incident that manager David Moyes thought should have also resulted in a red card for the Spurs goalkeeper.

Moyes called the decision “incredible” and “scandalous” and Cleverley was also disappointed that Danny Welbeck did not earn a spot kick in the 2-1 loss.

He said: “The way we lost leaves a sour taste in our mouths. I think what has hurt us most is knowing we were in good form with six wins on the bounce. It was really a chance to get momentum against one of our rivals and we haven't managed to do that

“We had a great start and won four or five corners in the first half an hour or so. It felt like we were really on top. The goals killed us a little bit but I still feel we didn't deserve to lose the match anyway. Obviously, there I felt there were some poor decisions and we didn't get the rub of the green.

“I don't think they have to go for us. I just think the right decision has to be given on the day. Even the Welbeck one, you certainly get them at home so I'm disappointed we've not got the decisions. Hopefully they do even out because we're due a few.”

United face Swansea on Sunday in the FA Cup, a competition they have not won since 2004, and, while Sir Alex Ferguson has retired, Cleverley said the squad remain as determined as he was to lift the trophy.

He added: “It's something the old manager really instilled into us: that a lot of players in the squad haven't won the FA Cup. But, myself, I've not won a lot of things so I just want to win as much silverware as I can. That's the aim.”


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