without really doing anything. Then they got a corner kick and scored. That was a bad time to lose a goal."
With nothing much occurring on the park, attention switched to the technical area at one point in the second half when Sir Alex had a frank exchange of views with his opposite number Roberto Mancini.
"He was badgering the referee the whole game, the fourth official and the linesman. The minute I go out there, he's off again," said the United manager, explaining the flash point. "He was complaining about referees the other week. He can't be complaining tonight, that's for sure."
Mancini was smiling at the end certainly, having found himself at the top of the league again.
"Yes, they're in the driving seat now," conceded Sir Alex. "They only need to win two games of football [against Newcastle away and QPR at home]. It's not over. As long as there are games of football to play, it's not over of course. We have the same number of points but they have an eight goals advantage and that's a big advantage of this time of the season.
"I think we have to look at last Sunday as the bad result for us, the Everton game."