A lethargic performance away at Athens cost Manchester United a 1st leg 2-0 defeat against Olympiakos in the Round of 16 in the Champions League. Manchester United conceded a goal in each half against a disciplined Olympiakos on a night the football fans witnessed a Greek tragedy. (Check out the pics of the action)
Manchester United were forced to make several mistakes by the home side which cost them dear. David Moyes’ side fell behind when Alejandro Dominguez diverted home Giannis Maniatis’ effort before the break. Not for the first time did David Moyes face a difficult half-time team talk.
10 minutes into the second half, Arsenal loanee Joel Campbell doubled the lead through a wonderful precise long-range effort which brought Manchester United to their knees.
David Moyes seemed like he was out of ideas on the bleak night at the Karaiskakis Stadium where in he sent Danny Welbeck and Shinji Kagawa hoping they would bring in some speed and more importantly – an away goal. The introduction of both the players brought more possession but Manchester United still lacked urgency, creativity and a clinical edge in the final third on the night.
Man United registered only one shot on target against Olympiakos. Robin van Persie blazed over the top when they finally opened up the Greeks towards the end of the game. The Dutchman is believed to have had just 24 touches all night and attempted a meager 13 passes.
Mitchel’s side finally ended United’s undefeated record against Greek opposition and Olympiakos in turn extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 20 games. They are well on course to appear in the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since the 1999-2000 edition of the competition.
Olympiakos thoroughly deserved the 2-0 win against the Red Devils who were awful on the night. Manchester United have now left themselves with a huge task at Old Trafford in the 2nd leg following their first Champions League defeat this season.