Looking at the celebrations that occurred at Old Trafford when the final whistle blew against Olympiakos, you could be forgiven for thinking that Manchester United had won the league – or at least a match against a side of note.
That was not the case, and whilst a victory is admittedly few and far between for the Old Trafford faithful these days, to celebrate with such gusto is alarming at best.
Yes, they lost 2-0 away from home in the first leg and coming back from such a deficit in Europe is not the done thing – unless you are playing a side with the form of Olympiakos.
The Greek side have an abysmal record against English sides, losing all five of the ties and conceding a fair few. Quite why it was a shock for United to go out and beat them then is something that in the cold light of day needs to be reflected on.
David Moyes has endured a tough time in charge at the club, and that has been discussed, debated and rehashed more times than anyone can count. Yes the manager looks like he has taken on more than he can cope with. Tactically he looks out of his depth, the players look demotivated and Manchester United do not provide the shivers down the opposition’s spine they once used to.
That is not going to change anytime soon. Knocking out a side from Greece is papering over the cracks and that is being generous.
Quite why the likes of Robin Van Persie can manage to motivate themselves for a knockout game in Europe but not against Liverpool in the league remains to be seen – and despite the performance of the Dutchman last night, smart money is on him departing in the summer. As quickly as he can grab a new club, get a contract printed and get the ink dry.
David De Gea was outstanding during the game and Wayne Rooney was, as always this season, a constant threat. The wide men actually looked threatening for once – and again begged the question of why Moyes chooses not to play the likes of Antonio Valencia in more games.
The problems at Old Trafford are there for all to see, and once the euphoria of getting through to Friday’s draw wears off, fans will begin to see that. If they did not already.
Another thing they are likely to realise is that for the first time in, well ever, the club are the side every single one of Europe’s elite wants to draw. And God help Moyes and his men if they end up with someone like Bayern Munich or Real Madrid.
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