Moyes must do what he never has to defeat Olympiakos ... but what?

David Moyes Interview - 23/02/2014

It doesn't appear to be good news for Manchester United fans hoping for a comeback in their last 16 Champions League tie against Olympiakos.

David Moyes is hoping for one of the great Old Trafford European nights in the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie, after their dreadful performance in Athens leaves them 2-0 down from the first leg against Olympiakos.

The Manchester United manager said after last night’s game: “There is a second game to come and Old Trafford has seen some great nights in the past and I am looking forward to hopefully seeing another one.”

Moyes has already faced the task of trying to overturn a first leg deficit in the League Cup semi-final against Sunderland. If it were a European tie they would have gone through on the away goals rule after winning 1-0 inside the 90 minutes. But with the away goals rule only applying the end of extra time a Phil Bardsley goal which resulted from a howler from David De Gea, followed by a strike from Javier Hernandez meant the tie went to a penalty shoot-out – which United lost.

How is his record in two legged affairs otherwise at his previous club Everton, when they have trailed from the first game?

His first encounter was in the third qualifying round for the Champions League against Villarreal after losing the first leg 2-1 at Goodison Park. Many Evertonians may question the contentious decision of Pieluigi Collina in the second leg to disallow a Duncan Ferguson header which would have put them 2-1 ahead on the night, but they ended up losing 2-1 on the night themselves.

In the same season when they dropped into the UEFA Cup they were on the end of a hammering by Dinamo Bucharest 5-1 in the first leg of their first round tie, giving themselves an impossible task in the second leg, a game which they won 1-0.

In the 2007/08 season, Everton were targeting two good cup runs under Moyes. They reached the semi-finals of the League Cup where they lost the first leg 2-1 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, but failed to make any real impact on the second leg, losing 1-0.

In the last 16 of the UEFA Cup, the Toffees lost 2-0 to Fiorentina but David Moyes’ side won the return leg 2-0 at Goodison Park courtesy of strikes from Andy Johnson and Mikel Arteta. The tie concluded with a penalty shootout which Everton lost 4-2.

The signs aren’t great for Manchester United in the second leg given that Moyes has failed to turn around a first leg deficit at his previous club in big games, if they did it against the Greek champions it would be an exception to the rule.

image: © Jenny Leigh

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