Wayne Rooney claims he has admitted defeat in Manchester United's hope of qualifying for next season's Champions League after their latest defeat to Sunderland on Saturday.
The Black Cats' January signing Whabi Khazri opened the scoring from a free-kick, where he managed to beat players of both sides inside the box and even goalkeeper David de Gea. Anthony Martial pulled one back for the Red Devils in the first half.
However, an own goal from the Spain international after Lamine Kone's powerful header in the final quarter of the game was the difference between the two sides. It was for the first time in the Premier League era that Sunderland defeated United at the Stadium of Light.
After 26 matches, the 20-time English champions sit in fifth place with 41 points, trailing fourth place Manchester City by six points, who have one game in hand. Rooney expressed his disappointment after his side's latest defeat and admitted that United did not deserve to win.
"It will be difficult to qualify for the Champions League and the top four now, we know that, so it's a sad day in terms of losing three points and we have to somehow move on," Rooney told United's official website.
"You don't know how this Premier League works right now, but we know it will be difficult to finish in the top four and [winning] the Europa League might be the best chance [of qualifying for the Champions League], but that is a long way away."
"It's a competition we didn't necessarily want to be in, but we are and we want to win it. Every game is a big game for us and we have to start again on Thursday."
On the defeat, the England international said: "We didn't create enough chances, we weren't aggressive enough and it has cost us not defending set pieces so it's a disappointing result."
"We didn't play well today, we know that, we didn't win enough second balls and all that coming together has cost us and it is not good enough."