Olympiakos bring listless United to their knees
By Tom Williams AFP
February 27, 2014, 12:03 am TWN
PIRAEUS, Greece -- Manchester United were shunted towards an unscheduled exit in the Champions League after crashing to a shock 2-0 defeat at Olympiakos in their last 16 first-leg match on Tuesday.
Goals from Alejandro Dominguez and Arsenal loanee Joel Campbell gave Olympiakos victory at an ecstatic Karaiskakis Stadium, to leave the Greek champions on the brink of the last eight for the first time since 1999.
It was the first time United had ever lost to a Greek team, but their error-prone display was fully in keeping with a season in which the self-belief of the Alex Ferguson era has thoroughly abandoned them.
Previously unbeaten in the group phase, David Moyes's side conceded defeat with a whimper on a chastening night in the Athenian port of Piraeus, failing to muster a single shot on target.
Eleven points off fourth-place Liverpool in the Premier League, their hopes of playing in next season's Champions League were already fading, and they now face a fight to stay alive in this season's competition in the return leg on March 19.
“It's the worst we've played in Europe, that's for sure,” said Moyes.
“It was a really poor performance. We never really got going from the start and we didn't deserve anything because of the way we played.
“I take responsibility. It's my team. We didn't play well tonight and we have to play better, but we know that we can do.
“The one good thing is that there's still a second game to come.”