Olympiacos 2 Manchester United 0 – woeful Red Devils heading out of Champions League
David Moyes under more pressure as United fail to register a shot on target against Greek champions
February 25th, 2014
Manchester United are heading out of this season’s Champions League with a whimper unless they can produce they can recover from what was an abysmal performance at the Karaiskakis Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Red Devils appeared to have some momentum coming into this match after winning 2-0 at Selhurst Park, although the champions of England failed to register a shot on target throughout the ninety minutes against a lively Olympiacos side who sensed the chance to gain the advantage against their opponents.
Moyes was unable to field the cup-tied Juan Mata and decided to leave out Marouane Fellaini, with Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverley ineffective as the central midfield partnership, while Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia were employed out wide.
The deadlock was broken just before half-time and there was an element of fortune about the opener from Olympiacos, although some would argue that opportunism from Alejandro Dominguez enabled his team to take the lead.
A break down the right from the Greek side appeared to end in nothing as United cleared the ball away, although Maniatis fired a shot from 25 yards out which was going wide until Dominguez stuck out a foot and directed the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
The fact that the home side had been allowed to advance so far unchallenged with the ball would have been a cause for concern, although United were no better in the second half and their poor defending was to lead to a second goal for Olympiacos.
Joel Campbell, an Arsenal loanee, produced the best moment of the game although United shot themselves in the foot by losing the ball in their own half. Campbell nutmegged Carrick before bending a left-footed shot past De Gea and leaving United with an uphill struggle.
It wasn’t until the 81st minute that United fashioned their first clear chance of the game when Robin van Persie skied the ball over the bar and despite late pressure from the Red Devils, the home side held tight to delight their vocal supporters.