Head: Three things that Man Utd got right in despatching Olympiakos
Deck: Tactical savvy and individual brilliance saw the Red Devils overcome the odds to smite the Greek champions.
Copy: A heroic effort from Manchester United saw them book a Champions League quarter final berth against the odds at the expense of Olympiakos.
Trailing 2-0 from the first-leg, the Red Devils rallied to claim a 3-0 victory at Old Trafford and send the Greek outfit packing.
The match was unquestionably the high point of the reigning English champions’ campaign to date and they can now be backed at 18/1 to have their name etched on the trophy for the third time since 1999.
In what was an excellent all round performance, three aspects in particular stood out and David Moyes’ boys will need to replicate these in the last-eight and beyond if they are to succeed in this endeavour.
Keep playing Danny Welbeck.
Often chastised for his lack of goals, the tireless legs and devastating pace of the England man make him a constant worry for opposition defenders.
Terrorising the Olympiakos backline with his relentless badgering, his energetic approach offers a valuable alternative in United’s attacking artillery.
The Man Utd set up resembled something similar to the style that formed the basis of Moyes’ successful tenure at Everton.
Perhaps trying to adapt his failsafe formula to play a way he felt a club of the Red Devils’ stature should was responsible for their first-leg loss?
Revisiting his Goodison Park tactics board paid dividends in the return fixture, though, with the high tempo and pitching Marouane Fellaini in as a forward particularly reminiscent of his frequently triumphant Toffees team.
Expert utilisation of Ryan Giggs.
Moyes has always had a knack of squeezing the final few drops of gold from the veterans and the Welshman’s incisive passing played a key part in Olympiakos’ undoing.
Obviously, at 40 years of age, he can’t be expected to reproduce these standards on a weekly basis, but keeping him fresh for the remaining European nights is of paramount importance if United are to prosper.