Those that thought that Manchester United would get a pasting in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie against Bayern Munich were left a little red faced at the final whistle.
It seems the Champions League has brought about a different animal in Manchester United under David Moyes. If they were to exit the competition at this stage they will have been unbeaten at Old Trafford in Europe – a complete contrast to their fortunes in domestic competition which has seen sides end hoodoos at the famous ground.
But Moyes was in his element against Bayern Munich last night. This was probably the one game where he could say the opposition coming to Old Trafford was favourites and it be accepted. They are the European Champions and they have already wrapped up their own domestic title, and have dropped six points all season.
Against a side that is renowned for keeping hold of possession so well, Moyes could revert to his backs-to-the-wall underdogs approach, something which he was comfortable with during his time at Everton. Whilst several will say they were outclassed by Bayern in the first half, they were defensively solid, they dealt with everything the visitors threw at them until the 66th minute.
The key was that he made them hard to beat which was reflected in the scoreline, even if they did concede to a terrific Bastian Schweinsteiger strike - which capitalised on a moments hesitation from Marouane Fellaini.
Their threat was there on the counter-attack with the pace of Antonio Valencia and Danny Welbeck – with the latter spurning a great opportunity in the first half shortly after having a goal disallowed.
After their goal – a brilliant header which was allowed to happen because of some rather questionable marking from the visitors – they continued to look sharp.
The introduction of Shinji Kagawa brought some zest and great intelligence to their game going forward even though they still had to deal with some Bayern pressure
Also, nobody could really say the players efforts weren’t with there after a series of criticism that has headed their way this season for not playing for the Scot.
They wanted to be in with a chance of progressing for when they travelled to the Allianz arena next week – they are. But the game plan takes on a little different complexion, the need to score. Danny Welbeck will be a key player in Munich as his pace on the counter-attack will cause them problems.
Next week United need to score within 90 minutes or they face elimination, which may lead to a different approach. The result from this leg sets up a fascinating contest in Germany.