Gus Poyet's Black Cats extended the losing streak of David Moyes' side to three by beating them 2-1 at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday night.
His goal came after Ryan Giggs turned the ball into the back of his own net in stoppage time of the first half before Nemanja Vidic responded for United with a 52nd-minute header from a Cleverley corner.
The defeat, which comes after a 2-1 loss to Tottenham in the Premier League and a 2-1 reverse to Swansea City in the FA Cup, prompted United's worst run since May 2001 but they will get the chance to rectify that when they host the Swans in the league this weekend.
The second leg of the final four league cup match takes place at Old Trafford on Wednesday, January 22. Tomorrow night sees United's neighbours Manchester City host West Ham United in the first leg of the other semi-final.
2013/14 Capital One Cup - semi-final first leg
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