Manchester City manager Kevin Keegan said his players must start scoring after their defeat at Manchester United.
City trailed 2-0 at the break but hinted at a remarkable comeback when Shaun Wright-Phillips scored to make it 2-1 early in the second half.
But Paul Scholes scored his second to take the game beyond City.
Chances fell to Robbie Fowler and Nicolas Anelka, but none were converted.
"They are not firing on all cylinders," said Keegan.
"It's not just one person though. The chances are falling to all the players.
"But we were up against a quality team. Sir Alex put out his strongest 11 players.
"They are always difficult to beat but I expected a bit more drive in the first half. We did not play well when we had the ball.
"Generally we were beaten by a better side but we are not that far behind them."
The City was also full of praise for Scholes, who played for Keegan when he was in charge of England.
"Paul Scholes is an exceptional player," said Keegan.
"I had him with England and I know he has caused major problems for better sides than us.
"His greatest asset is that every time he goes into the penalty area, he believes he is going to score. It has a lot to do with confidence but it is also about courage.
"It would be easy to criticise the defenders for not closing him down but we would have been better stopping the crosses coming over in the first place."
City midfielder Joey Barton is confident City can recover from their current poor form.
Keegan's team have not won in any competition since they defeated Southampton on 1 November.
"I think hard work is the key," said Barton.
"We are never going to give up as a team. We will be striving to get our club back heading in the right direction."
Man Utd: Howard, Gary Neville, Ferdinand, Silvestre, O'Shea,
Kleberson (Ronaldo 74), Phil Neville, Keane, Giggs, Scholes, Van Nistelrooy.
Man City: Seaman, Jihai, Dunne, Sommeil, Distin, Wright-Phillips,
McManaman, Barton, Sinclair (Wanchope 81), Fowler, Anelka.
Booked: Barton, Jihai.
Attendance: 67,645.Return to Manchester City Page Home Page