Uninspired, Man United loses 2-0 to Olympiakos | Inquirer Sports

Uninspired, Man United loses 2-0 to Olympiakos

/ 07:47 AM February 26, 2014

Olympiakos’ Jose Holebas, right, fights for the ball with Manchester United’s Wayne Rooeny during their Champions League, round of 16, first leg soccer match at Georgios Karaiskakis stadium, in Piraeus port, near Athens, on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. AP

PIRAEUS, Greece—Manchester United’s troubled season took another turn for the worse on Tuesday as David Moyes’ side slumped to a 2-0 first leg defeat to Olympiakos in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Moyes described the match as “the worst performance in Europe” he’d seen from his players, and took full responsibility for the result.

Argentine striker Alejandro Dominguez broke the deadlock at Karaiskaki Stadium when he got his foot to a shot from Yiannis Maniatis in the 38th minute and turned the ball past goalkeeper David de Gea.

FEATURED STORIES

First-half composure from the visitors soon turned to complacency after the break when striker Joel Campbell, on loan from United’s Premier League rival Arsenal, caught De Gea off guard with a well-placed shot in the 55th minute.

Wayne Rooney produced no threat up front and strike partner Robin van Persie missed the visitors’ only clear chance—a shot over the crossbar in the 82nd minute—as United slipped to its first defeat in the Champions League this season.

“It was a very poor performance, and we didn’t deserve to get anything. To a man there was nothing,” Moyes said.

“I’m just surprised. I just didn’t see that level of performance coming. We didn’t offer enough on the night to create any goals.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Olympiakos coach Michel Gonzalez played down the implications of the result, saying that 2-0 wasn’t a big enough margin to give an advantage in terms of qualifying.

“I will never say anything bad about Manchester United, because I have such great respect for them. The players know that we still have more to do,” Gonzalez said.

ADVERTISEMENT

“But I can’t hide it. I am very happy. It’s the players I’m so proud of … to get this result against a team of this caliber.”

Runaway leaders in the Greek league, Olympiakos fielded its untested strikers after the sale last month of Kostas Mitroglou. But the hosts threatened early with Dominguez nearly grabbing a goal in the eighth minute, stopped only by a last-ditch tackle from Nemanja Vidic.

Moyes brought on Danny Wellbeck and Shinji Kagawa in the second half but they made little impact, while Olympiakos nearly made it 3-0 in 67th but Michael Olaitan failed to finish.

Despite the defeat, United midfielder Michael Carrick insisted that the three-time European champions could turn the result around in the second leg on March 19 at Old Trafford.

“We just haven’t been getting the right results,” Carrick said. “As players we have to stand up … that’s the business we’re in.”

Premier League champions last season under Alex Ferguson, United is currently sixth in the domestic standings—15 points adrift of leader Chelsea. It also made an early exit from the FA Cup at the hands of Swansea.

RELATED STORIES

Man United loses again at home, 2-1 to Spurs

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Chelsea, United enjoy 2-0 wins in Premier League

TAGS: Manchester United, Olympiakos, Sports, UEFA Champions League

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.