David Moyes insists his team will “put it right” in the second leg at Old Trafford, but after a performance the Manchester United manager described at the worst of the Red Devils’ European campaign, qualifying for the quarterfinals for the first time in three years appears to be a long shot. With goals from Alejandro Domínguez and Joel Campbell, Greek champions Olympiakos took a commanding 2-0 lead in the team’s UEFA Champions League Round of 16 matchup.
While a two-goal margin wouldn’t normally be seen as insurmountable, a United attack that only put one shot on target Tuesday will have to drastically improve if the Red Devils are going to thwart Olympiakos’s upset bid.
“That’s the worst we’ve played in Europe,” Moyes said after Tuesday’s loss. “We didn’t deserve to get anything. I’m surprised, I didn’t see that level of performance coming.
“I take responsibility, we have to play better,” Moyes continued. “The players are hurting. We came into the game with a good mindset but it didn’t show today, we didn’t offer enough. We didn’t offer enough on the night to create a goal.”
Despite maintaining 61 percent possession, Manchester United only put one shot on Roberto in Olympiakos’s goal. At the other end of the field, David de Gea was tested four times, with goals on each side of half-time by Domínguez and Campbell relegating the Red Devils to one of their club’s most disappointing European results.
“Me and the team didn’t show together,” Moyes said, sharing the blame with his players. “We’ll put it right, we’re determined to put it right and we’ll have opportunities to do it in the coming weeks.
“The players are hurting, they know how they’ve performed. The one good thing is that there is a second game to come. Old Trafford’s seen some great nights in the past and we’ll hopefully see another one. We’ll do everything we possibly can to reverse the 2-0 defeat.”
Manchester United are certainly capable of a three-goal win at Old Trafford, but that may not be enough. Their inability to snare an away goal means one Olympiakos score in Stretford would force the Red Devils to claim at least four goalsif they’re to survive the upset bid.