The nightmare season of Manchester United continues as they lose 2-0 to Olympiakos in one of their worst performances under David Moyes, while the Greek champions and league leaders outplayed them for the first 75 minutes before slightly regressing and allowing the visitors a few moments of actually creating their first chances in the match.
It wasn’t just a bad match from Manchester United, which is far from new in the David Moyes era. Olympiakos played to United’s weaknesses, which is pretty much pressure their slow and technical-lacking midfield in Cleverley and Carrick while trying to make the most of the Patrice Evra and Chris Smalling weakness. Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic weren’t much better, as both Olympiakos goals came from shots from outside the box that went unchallenged.
It was a brilliant match from Alejandro Dominguez, who scored the opener with a slick flick of the ball after a soft shot from one of his teammates. The second goal, coming in the second half, was a lot less confusing for David de Gea, who reacted late for the first goal as well. Joel Campbell stood undisturbed with 22-23 meters separating him and De Gea without a single defender thinking about blocking him.
Manchester United? It took David Moyes more than an hour to realize he needs creative players in the middle of the pitch, unleashing Shinji Kagawa way too late. Robin van Persie missed a great opportunity from close range late in the match, but that was probably the only good chance the Red Devils managed to create with their failed tactics of long balls and predictable crossing, mostly through Ashley Young.
The questions after the match: Where was Adnan Januzaj? Why no Kagawa from the start? Why does David Moyes continue to rely on tactics that don’t work? Why wasn’t Maroune Fellaini a part of the lineup?
Manchester United played one of their worst matches of the season, but that doesn’t take away from a fantastic performance by Olympiakos with a great match by centre back Kostas Manolas, midfield Delvin Ndinga and the exciting Michael Olaitan, which they won’t have to repeat at the no longer formidable Old Trafford in three weeks.