Sir Alex Ferguson laments 'slack moments' as Manchester United crash out of FA Cup

Red Devils boss keen to look forward to next fixtures after poor defending and finishing led to his side's treble dreams being reduced to double hopes against Manchester City
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson pointed to 'slack moments' that led to his side crashing out of the FA Cup against Manchester City on Saturday.

A second-half goal from Yaya Toure ended the Red Devils' eight-game winning streak and the Scottish gaffer is keen to put the result behind him with a congested fixture schedule ahead.

The experienced boss conceded that sloppiness, individual errors, and particularly the first 15 minutes of the second half were the chief reasons United were beaten 1-0 at Wembley.

"The first 15 minutes after half time cost us the game," he told MUTV. "They were slack moments.

"Edwin [van der Sar] had a bad kick out and Michael Carrick couldn't hold it and it was a goal.

"From then on, they were defending apart from a couple of counter-attacks. It's disappointing as we should've been ahead in the first half as we were the better team.

"The chance that Dimitar [Berbatov] missed - there was a great save by the keeper but the second chance, from under the bar, if he'd have scored there it could have been different - I had a feeling whoever scored first would win the match.

"We were a wee bit sloppy and it got them on the counter-attack against us."

Ferguson also blamed the Wembley pitch for contributing to his side's demise and insisted Paul Scholes' sending off didn't change the game dramatically.

"I think the pitch was slow," he said. "It's a good pitch but very slow. We like quick pitches and it maybe suited City a bit more than us.

"It [the red card] didn't kill the game. I thought we played better after it. I thought we played very well after the sending off.

"With Paul, we've seen it over his career. He's had unbelievable moments and is a great player, one of the greatest ever at this club.

"But he has these red mist moments and this was another one. He's a bit unfortunate maybe as he went for for the ball and it bounced up and he's gone through and caught the boy on the thigh."

However, the Scotsman is demanding an immediate reply from his side when they face Newcastle United on Tuesday in the Premier League.

"It's a major game on Tuesday up at Newcastle," Ferguson said.

"We're getting recovered to get ready for the game on Tuesday. It doesn't matter when you play, you know you've got to recover and get on a winning streak again."

Manchester United are atop the Premier League table on 69 points, seven clear of Arsenal and eight above Chelsea, though the Gunners have a game in hand on their rivals.

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