Moyes backs United to bounce back
Manchester United manager David Moyes is confident his players will bounce back from their 4-1 hiding by Manchester City.
United suffered their worst defeat at the Etihad Stadium since 2004, with goals from Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri adding to a Sergio Aguero brace either side of half-time.
Not even a Wayne Rooney consolation, which allowed him to become the top scorer in Manchester derby matches, could put a positive gloss on an awful afternoon for the Red Devils, who face Liverpool in the Capital One Cup at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
Moyes told his players the performance was simply not good enough. But he expects a positive response.
"If ever there was a group of players I would expect [a reaction from after a defeat] it is the Manchester United players," said Moyes.
"They react and that is what they will do. Every manager has bad days and bad results. I am no different.
"I have been here [at the Etihad] with Everton many times and I don't think I suffered a defeat like this with Everton.
"I talked with the players the same as I would at any other club. They are good pros here and they know when they are bang at it and when they are not."
United fell behind early on, when Aguero was left unmarked to turn home Aleksandar Kolarov's cross.
But the main damage came in a six-minute spell either side of the interval when Toure nudged home Alvaro Negredo's knock-down before Aguero added another from a Negredo cross and Nasri belted home after Jesus Navas had picked him out at the far post.
"We didn't play well enough to win the game," said Moyes. "If you lose four you are not expecting to win too many.
"We conceded poor goals. We needed to get closer in the second half but they get away and score more goals.
"We never got a grip of the game and could never really stop them. We hoped to stem that tide in the second half. We got better as the game went on but it was too late.
"Manchester City played well and deserved the victory."
The one person Moyes exempted from criticism was Rooney, who now has 11 derby goals and four in three games following his return from a gashed head.
"Wayne Rooney was outstanding," said Moyes. "He didn't deserve to be on the losing side. He was first class."
United's second defeat of the campaign leaves them eighth in the table, five points behind joint-leaders Arsenal and Tottenham and rated as 9-2 shots to retain the championship.
"The start to the season could be a lot better," said Moyes.
"We did say it could be a difficult start. I wasn't convinced when the balls came out of the Premier League bag and I'm still not convinced."
City boss Manuel Pellegrini admitted his team had struck a big psychological blow/
Blues fans revelled in the triumph, cheekily chanting "One David Moyes" and "Getting sacked in the morning" before the end.
And Pellegrini, also making his debut on the touchline in a Manchester derby, admitted it could be a significant victory.
"It is very big," said the Chilean.
"Always winning against Manchester United and the way we won is important.
"You don't expect to win 4-1 against United. Normally derbies are more equal.
"But today we had a very good day and that allows us to have a superiority against Manchester United.
"The fans will enjoy this for the next three months.
"For the team, winning the way we did today will give a lot of trust.
"Winning a derby will also give them a lot of confidence."
It seemed churlish to take anything away from City but United were as poor as they have been at any time against their rivals in recent years - even in the 6-1 demolition two seasons ago when the Red Devils were handicapped by the dismissal of Jonny Evans and conceded three times in stoppage time.
"Maybe they couldn't play better because we played very well," said Pellegrini.
"We tried to create space and did it.
"We didn't give them space to damage our goal."
City are now in third place in the Barclays Premier League, their margin of victory allowing them to ease ahead of Chelsea and Liverpool on goal difference.
And Pellegrini is hopeful of more memorable days to come.
"We must improve every day," he said. "Not all the games are the same. I think we are just starting another style and another way to play."