Champions League - Round of 16 - 2nd Leg
Man Utd3Olympiakos0

Manchester United 3-0 Olympiakos (agg 3-2)

Manchester United staged the comeback they required and lifted the pressure on manager David Moyes with victory over Olympiakos at Old Trafford to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.

Robin van Persie's hat-trick overturned the visitors' two-goal lead from the first leg and gave Moyes some much-needed breathing space after Sunday's embarrassing 3-0 Premier League home defeat by Liverpool.

If the Netherlands striker - who was taken off on a stretcher late on with what looked like a knee injury - was the goal hero, then Moyes must also be indebted to David De Gea.

The goalkeeper made a crucial double save from David Fuster and Alejandro Dominguez moments before Van Persie scored United's second in first half-stoppage time.

Van Persie's contribution has been questioned this season but he set United on their way with a penalty, scored a clinical second before the break, then provided the decisive goal with a 51st-minute free-kick.

Moyes, whose future has been at the centre of so much speculation, was all smiles as he made his way towards the Stretford End at the final whistle. He can now at least contemplate extending United's Champions League campaign, albeit as outsiders to claim the trophy.

With United so hapless against Liverpool, Moyes knew a Champions League exit was almost unthinkable and he fell back on the tried and trusted old guard in the shape of veteran player-coach Ryan Giggs to help deliver the result he so desperately needed.

Moyes gave the 40-year-old a rare start, and he was instrumental in United levelling the tie on aggregate by half-time.

Olympiakos knew just one goal would put United under intense pressure and it should have arrived early on when Joel Campbell, on loan from Arsenal, outstripped Phil Jones and pulled the ball back for Hernan Perez, who skied his finish into the Stretford End from only eight yards.

Giggs may have lost the pace of his youth but all the intelligence remains - and he was picking the passes that made the difference. One angled cross saw Wayne Rooney's header turned on to the base of the post by Olympiakos keeper Roberto.

United got the breakthrough they craved after 25 minutes when Van Persie was needlessly barged in the back by Jose Holebas as they challenged for another astute pass from Giggs. The striker got to his feet to thump home a venomous spot-kick.

Moyes went into the game under huge pressure after a 3-0 home defeat by old rivals Liverpool

If there was a pivotal moment in this tie, it came with half-time approaching and Olympiakos proving they possessed real threat despite their very obvious vulnerability at the back.

De Gea was the hero as first he dived to save Fuster's header then recovered his ground brilliantly to stop Dominguez's follow-up when he seemed certain to score.

The value of De Gea's contribution was illustrated moments later as United levelled the tie on aggregate. Giggs was again involved as his early pass found Rooney - who picked out his strike partner Van Persie to sweep a sweet finish past Roberto.

Van Persie was on target again to complete his hat-trick and put United ahead in the tie for the first time six minutes after the break, sending a left-foot free-kick past Roberto from 20 yards as the Olympiakos keeper stood motionless in the centre of the goal.

The scoreline told a tale of United dominance but they were conceding too much possession and territory as the clock ticked down and De Gea had to be down smartly at his near post to save from the impressive Dominguez.

Moyes clearly wanted United to exert greater control and with eight minutes left he replaced the hard-working Danny Welbeck with Darren Fletcher.

Old Trafford was an anxious place in the closing stages as Olympiakos pressed, but United held out amid scenes of celebration - although the late injury to Van Persie cast a cloud on this crucial victory.

Line-ups

Man Utd

  • 1de Gea
  • 2Rafael
  • 3EvraBooked at 61mins
  • 11Giggs
  • 5FerdinandBooked at 90mins
  • 4Jones
  • 25A ValenciaSubstituted forYoungat 77'minutes
  • 16CarrickBooked at 10mins
  • 20van PersieSubstituted forFellainiat 90+1'minutes
  • 10Rooney
  • 19WelbeckSubstituted forFletcherat 82'minutes

Substitutes

  • 13Lindegaard
  • 14Hernández
  • 18Young
  • 24Fletcher
  • 26Kagawa
  • 31Fellaini
  • 44Januzaj

Olympiakos

  • 16Jiménez Gago
  • 30SalinoBooked at 62minsSubstituted forMachadoat 74'minutes
  • 20Holebas
  • 8Ndinga
  • 24ManolasBooked at 5mins
  • 25MarcanoBooked at 90mins
  • 17PérezSubstituted forValdezat 57'minutes
  • 2Maniatis
  • 26Campbell
  • 35DomínguezBooked at 9mins
  • 19FusterSubstituted forVergosat 82'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Machado
  • 14Samaris
  • 18Valdez
  • 21Papadopoulos
  • 28Vergos
  • 42Megyeri
  • 88Bong
Referee:
Björn Kuipers

Match Stats

Home TeamMan UtdAway TeamOlympiakos
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home10
Away13
Shots on Target
Home5
Away3
Corners
Home8
Away7
Fouls
Home14
Away17

Live Text

Match ends, Manchester United 3, Olympiakos 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Manchester United 3, Olympiakos 0.
Offside, Manchester United. Michael Carrick tries a through ball, but Marouane Fellaini is caught offside.
Foul by Delvin Ndinga (Olympiakos).
Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Jose Holebas.
Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Delvin Ndinga.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. Marouane Fellaini replaces Robin van Persie because of an injury.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Booking

Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card.

Booking

Iván Marcano (Olympiakos) is shown the yellow card.
Delay in match Robin van Persie (Manchester United) because of an injury.
Foul by Giannis Maniatis (Olympiakos).
Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Attempt blocked. Jose Holebas (Olympiakos) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Paulo Machado with a headed pass.
Corner, Olympiakos. Conceded by Phil Jones.
Corner, Olympiakos. Conceded by Wayne Rooney.
Attempt missed. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Darren Fletcher.
Foul by Nikolaos Vergos (Olympiakos).
Patrice Evra (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Olympiakos. Nikolaos Vergos replaces David Fuster.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. Darren Fletcher replaces Danny Welbeck.
Attempt missed. Joel Campbell (Olympiakos) left footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Alejandro Domínguez following a corner.
Corner, Olympiakos. Conceded by Ashley Young.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. Ashley Young replaces Luis Antonio Valencia.
David Fuster (Olympiakos) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Rafael (Manchester United).
Attempt missed. Joel Campbell (Olympiakos) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Delvin Ndinga.
Offside, Manchester United. Danny Welbeck tries a through ball, but Robin van Persie is caught offside.
Foul by David Fuster (Olympiakos).
Luis Antonio Valencia (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Olympiakos. Paulo Machado replaces Leandro Salino.
Offside, Manchester United. Wayne Rooney tries a through ball, but Robin van Persie is caught offside.
Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Iván Marcano.
Attempt blocked. Rafael (Manchester United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Luis Antonio Valencia.
Luis Antonio Valencia (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jose Holebas (Olympiakos).
Offside, Manchester United. Wayne Rooney tries a through ball, but Danny Welbeck is caught offside.
Foul by Robin van Persie (Manchester United).
Leandro Salino (Olympiakos) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. David Fuster (Olympiakos) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Leandro Salino.
Foul by Danny Welbeck (Manchester United).
Iván Marcano (Olympiakos) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Alejandro Domínguez (Olympiakos) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Nelson Valdez.

Booking

Leandro Salino (Olympiakos) is shown the yellow card.
Offside, Olympiakos. Delvin Ndinga tries a through ball, but Leandro Salino is caught offside.

Booking

Patrice Evra (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Patrice Evra (Manchester United).
Nelson Valdez (Olympiakos) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Attempt missed. Phil Jones (Manchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Ryan Giggs following a corner.
Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Iván Marcano.
Hand ball by Joel Campbell (Olympiakos).

Substitution

Substitution, Olympiakos. Nelson Valdez replaces Hernán Pérez.
Offside, Olympiakos. Alejandro Domínguez tries a through ball, but Hernán Pérez is caught offside.
Foul by Wayne Rooney (Manchester United).
Delvin Ndinga (Olympiakos) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt blocked. Delvin Ndinga (Olympiakos) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Corner, Olympiakos. Conceded by Robin van Persie.
Attempt blocked. Alejandro Domínguez (Olympiakos) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Foul by Luis Antonio Valencia (Manchester United).
Jose Holebas (Olympiakos) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
goal

Top Stories

Get Inspired Activity Finder

Run by the BBC and partners

Find ways to get active near you:

For more ideas, information and inspiration, visit bbc.co.uk/getinspired