Premier League: Alex Ferguson backs struggling David Moyes at Man Utd

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Manchester United manager David Moyes is struggling to make an immediate impact in his first season in charge.

It’s not easy taking over from one of the greatest managers in football history, but David Moyes has been assured that one trophy in his debut season at Manchester United will be considered a success.

So says his predecessor Alex Ferguson, a man who waited more than three years for his first silverware at Old Trafford before rewriting the record books.

United’s hopes of a 21st English title seem faint after Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home to Southampton, a result which left Moyes’ men eight points behind leader Arsenal after only eight matches.

However, Ferguson — whose reign ended with a 13th Premier League crown last season — urged fans to be patient after a difficult start to this campaign.

“For David, winning a trophy would be a fantastic achievement,” the 71-year-old told the club’s MUTV channel in an interview aired Saturday.

“No matter what it is — the League Cup, FA Cup, European Cup or Premier League. We’ve always had priorities obviously, and David is aware of that, but I hope he achieves it.

“He has great support at the club. The most important person in the club is the manager and that must always be sacrosanct. In fairness, the club have always stuck by that rigid belief.”

Moyes, who did win the pre-season Community Shield match, was boosted ahead of the Southampton match when teen sensation Adnan Januzaj signed a new five-year contract.

The 18-year-old, who underlined his status before the international break as one of the game’s hottest young prospects with two goals in his first EPL start, was again to the fore as United dominated the first half.

Januzaj sent Wayne Rooney clear on goal and, although the England striker’s shot was saved by Artur Boruc, Robin van Persie fired home from the rebound.

Januzaj was also denied by Boruc, and another well-timed pass found Danny Welbeck — but the forward could not set up Rooney for the second.

“We have been trying to get him signed for quite a few months, not just in my time,” Moyes said of the Brussels-born winger.

“He’s an exceptionally talented player. He has not looked out of place in the team. He has created goals and been part of some of our best passing movements.”

However, United’s defensive frailties were once again exposed as Adam Lallana diverted in a scrambled shot from Dejan Lovren in the 89th minute to deny Moyes successive wins for the first time since joining from Everton.

“We should probably have put the game to bed earlier,” Moyes said. “We hit the bar and had a couple of other opportunities.

“It was a mixed game at times, but we still had those chances that I was hoping we would finish off.”

By contrast, Arsenal romped to a comprehensive 4-1 win at home to Norwich that put Arsene Wenger’s team two points clear of Chelsea and Liverpool.

Record signing Mesut Ozil scored twice after Jack Wilshere’s opener, and fellow midfielder Aaron Ramsey added his ninth goal in all competitions this season.

Chelsea came from behind to beat promoted Cardiff 4-1, as former African player of the year Samuel Eto’o scored his first goal for the London side since joining from Russia’s Anzhi Makhachkala in August.

However, the Cameroon striker’s cheeky dispossession of David Marshall when the visiting keeper bounced the ball — which allowed Eden Hazard to equalize with the first of his two goals — left Cardiff boss Malky Mackay fuming.

“I did go in to ask for clarification of the ruling and what the referee and linesman saw,” he said.

“The explanation leaves me really disappointed — they felt the goalkeeper dropped the ball. My goalkeeper bounced the ball. He saw Samuel Eto’o standing next to him and he bounced the ball.”

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho refused to attend his press conference after being sent to the stands in the second half after protesting about Cardiff’s alleged time-wasting.

Eto’o had put Chelsea ahead by that stage, while Oscar and Hazard wrapped it up after Mourinho’s dugout exit.

Liverpool briefly went top after being held 2-2 by 10-man Newcastle in Saturday’s early match, with striker Daniel Sturridge heading a 72nd-minute equalizer.

The home side twice led, through Yohan Cabaye and Paul Dummett, despite having Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa sent off for a foul on Luis Suarez — from which Steven Gerrard netted a penalty for Liverpool’s first leveler.

In the late match, Manchester City won away for the first time this season, beating West Ham 3-1 thanks to a double from Sergio Aguero to move above Southampton into fourth place.

Sixth-placed Everton joined Saints on 15 points with a 2-1 win at home to promoted Hull, while Swansea crushed Sunderland 4-0 to give new manager Gus Poyet a losing start to his tenure at the EPL’s bottom club, and there was a 0-0 stalemate between Stoke and West Brom.

 

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