In one of the most shocking results in the Champions League knockout stages, Greek side Olympiakos soundly defeated Manchester United by a score of 2-0. The scoreline was even generous to United as they were thoroughly dominated by Olympiakos and looked poor, tired, and totally inept on the night. Managing only two shots on goal is poor enough but there is no excuse for only looking truly threatening once or twice in 90 minutes of play.
The first half was largely dominated by Olympiakos as their pressing game left United uncomfortable in possession particularly in midfield. The Greek side enjoyed the lion’s share of the chances and even came close through midfielder Hernan Perez. In the 38th minute, Argentina international Alejandro Dominguez shot from the center of the 16 yard box and saw his effort deflected in to the United goal. The slow roller dribbled agonizingly past the dive of keeper David De Gea to give Olympiakos a lead going in to halftime that they would not relinquish.
The second half started off much the same way the first half ended. Olympiakos continued to dominate and United were clearly the poorer side. Less than ten minutes after the restart, Arsenal loanee Joel Campbell caught Tom Cleverley in possession and curled a wonderful effort around the outstretched De Gea for a fantastic goal. It was no less than Olympiakos deserved as they were in control of the match from start to finish. Robin Van Persie had the best chance for United in the 81st minute but shot over the bar from eight yards out when a player of his quality was expected to score easily. It was typical of United’s effort on the day and let Olympiakos off easy.
With the return leg in two weeks, Manchester United have it all to do when they get back to Old Trafford. A two goal difference is not insurmountable but if they continue to play the way they did today it will be impossible to overcome. The pressure continues to mount on manager David Moyes who continues to look overwhelmed by the task of managing one of the biggest clubs in the world. All the talk of winning the Champions League yesterday bolstered the confidence of supporters but at this point they will be lucky to advance to the next round.
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