Despite the defeat however, Ferguson said he could not see many errors United's performance.
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"It's a hard one to take as I thought we were the better team," he said. "We have to accept that it was a bad day in terms of the goals we lost, but I cannot fault the display.
"We made some important mistakes and one or two of the players were a little short of what we expect of them.
"With that said, I would have taken a four-point lead at this stage of the season."
United defender Rio Ferdinand denied that the squad had got ahead of themselves amid the mounting expectation for the club to win a total of five trophies this season.
Disappointed with the weekend's result the 30-year-old said United would move on and look towards maintaining their lead at the top in their next league match against Fulham.
"We have got a rude awakening," he said. "None of us has been taking anything for granted but subconsciously there may have been complacency.
"Losing any game is disappointing but losing to a team who we have such a big rivalry with is even worse. And the scoreline takes it beyond that.
"It is very hard to take but results like this can be turned into a positive. Any complacency that was there will have torn out of us. At least we are still a good position even if it doesn't soften the blow.
"Now we have to dust ourselves down and get our minds right for the game at Fulham next week, when we will hopefully get ourselves back on track."