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.

A hat-trick of hat-tricks

Robin van Persie
  • Robin van Persie's treble was the third of his Manchester United career. His previous two came in wins over Southampton and Aston Villa last season.

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.

David Moyes

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.

Lineup, Bookings (7) & Substitutions (6)

Manchester United

  • 01 de Gea
  • 02 Rafael
  • 03 Evra Booked
  • 11 Giggs
  • 05 Ferdinand Booked
  • 04 Jones
  • 25 A Valencia (Young - 77' )
  • 16 Carrick Booked
  • 20 van Persie (Fellaini - 91' )
  • 10 Rooney
  • 19 Welbeck (Fletcher - 82' )

Substitutes

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

Olympiakos

  • 16 Jiménez Gago
  • 30 Salino Booked (Machado - 74' )
  • 20 Holebas
  • 08 Ndinga
  • 24 Manolas Booked
  • 25 Marcano Booked
  • 17 Pérez (Valdez - 57' )
  • 02 Maniatis
  • 26 Campbell
  • 35 Domínguez Booked
  • 19 Fuster (Vergos - 82' )

Substitutes

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

Match Stats

Shots

10 13

On target

5 3

Corners

8 7

Fouls

14 17

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Manchester United 3, Olympiakos 0.

90:00 +4:52 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Manchester United 3, Olympiakos 0.

90:00 +4:29

Offside, Manchester United. Michael Carrick tries a through ball, but Marouane Fellaini is caught offside.

90:00 +3:43

Foul by Delvin Ndinga (Olympiakos).

90:00 +3:43

Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

90:00 +2:44

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Jose Holebas.

90:00 +2:11

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Delvin Ndinga.

90:00 +0:41 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Manchester United. Marouane Fellaini replaces Robin van Persie because of an injury.

90:00 +0:40

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

90:00 +0:25 Booking

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

90:00 +0:03 Booking

Booking Iván Marcano (Olympiakos) is shown the yellow card.

88:25

Delay in match Robin van Persie (Manchester United) because of an injury.

87:36

Foul by Giannis Maniatis (Olympiakos).

87:36

Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

87:00

Attempt blocked. Jose Holebas (Olympiakos) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Paulo Machado with a headed pass.

86:34

Corner, Olympiakos. Conceded by Phil Jones.

85:45

Corner, Olympiakos. Conceded by Wayne Rooney.

83:12

Attempt missed. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Darren Fletcher.

82:28

Foul by Nikolaos Vergos (Olympiakos).

82:28

Patrice Evra (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

81:35 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Olympiakos. Nikolaos Vergos replaces David Fuster.

81:15 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Manchester United. Darren Fletcher replaces Danny Welbeck.

78:48

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.

78:12

Corner, Olympiakos. Conceded by Ashley Young.

76:50 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Manchester United. Ashley Young replaces Luis Antonio Valencia.

76:17

David Fuster (Olympiakos) wins a free kick on the left wing.

76:17

Foul by Rafael (Manchester United).

75:34

Attempt missed. Joel Campbell (Olympiakos) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Delvin Ndinga.

74:51

Offside, Manchester United. Danny Welbeck tries a through ball, but Robin van Persie is caught offside.

74:03

Foul by David Fuster (Olympiakos).

74:03

Luis Antonio Valencia (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

73:38 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Olympiakos. Paulo Machado replaces Leandro Salino.

73:16

Offside, Manchester United. Wayne Rooney tries a through ball, but Robin van Persie is caught offside.

69:37

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Iván Marcano.

69:36

Attempt blocked. Rafael (Manchester United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Luis Antonio Valencia.

68:01

Luis Antonio Valencia (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

68:01

Foul by Jose Holebas (Olympiakos).

67:14

Offside, Manchester United. Wayne Rooney tries a through ball, but Danny Welbeck is caught offside.

65:53

Foul by Robin van Persie (Manchester United).

65:53

Leandro Salino (Olympiakos) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

65:28

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.

63:54

Foul by Danny Welbeck (Manchester United).

63:54

Iván Marcano (Olympiakos) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

62:49

Attempt missed. Alejandro Domínguez (Olympiakos) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Nelson Valdez.

61:21 Booking

Booking Leandro Salino (Olympiakos) is shown the yellow card.

61:10

Offside, Olympiakos. Delvin Ndinga tries a through ball, but Leandro Salino is caught offside.

60:15 Booking

Booking Patrice Evra (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

60:10

Foul by Patrice Evra (Manchester United).

60:10

Nelson Valdez (Olympiakos) wins a free kick on the right wing.

59:29

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.

58:48

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Iván Marcano.

58:24

Hand ball by Joel Campbell (Olympiakos).

56:13 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Olympiakos. Nelson Valdez replaces Hernán Pérez.

55:18

Offside, Olympiakos. Alejandro Domínguez tries a through ball, but Hernán Pérez is caught offside.

54:45

Foul by Wayne Rooney (Manchester United).

54:45

Delvin Ndinga (Olympiakos) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

54:38

Attempt blocked. Delvin Ndinga (Olympiakos) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

53:55

Corner, Olympiakos. Conceded by Robin van Persie.

53:51

Attempt blocked. Alejandro Domínguez (Olympiakos) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

52:55

Foul by Luis Antonio Valencia (Manchester United).

52:55

Jose Holebas (Olympiakos) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

52:14

Foul by Robin van Persie (Manchester United).

52:14

Delvin Ndinga (Olympiakos) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

50:56 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Manchester United 3, Olympiakos 0. Robin van Persie (Manchester United) from a free kick with a left footed shot to the bottom left corner.

49:35

Danny Welbeck (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

49:35

Foul by Kostas Manolas (Olympiakos).

48:11

Attempt missed. Hernán Pérez (Olympiakos) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Leandro Salino with a cross.

46:00

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

45:35

Delay in match Hernán Pérez (Olympiakos) because of an injury.

45:11

Ryan Giggs (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

45:11

Foul by Hernán Pérez (Olympiakos).

45:00

Second Half begins Manchester United 2, Olympiakos 0.

45:00 +1:04 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Manchester United 2, Olympiakos 0.

45:00 +0:08 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Manchester United 2, Olympiakos 0. Robin van Persie (Manchester United) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Wayne Rooney.

42:44

Corner, Olympiakos. Conceded by Luis Antonio Valencia.

42:00

Foul by Luis Antonio Valencia (Manchester United).

42:00

Alejandro Domínguez (Olympiakos) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

41:55

Attempt blocked. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Rafael.

40:45

Rafael (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

40:45

Foul by Giannis Maniatis (Olympiakos).

39:49

Phil Jones (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

39:49

Foul by David Fuster (Olympiakos).

39:44

Attempt missed. Delvin Ndinga (Olympiakos) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jose Holebas with a cross following a corner.

39:12

Corner, Olympiakos. Conceded by David de Gea.

39:11

Attempt saved. Alejandro Domínguez (Olympiakos) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom left corner.

39:09

Attempt saved. David Fuster (Olympiakos) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Hernán Pérez with a cross.

37:50

Danny Welbeck (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

37:50

Foul by Delvin Ndinga (Olympiakos).

36:52

Robin van Persie (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

36:52

Foul by Hernán Pérez (Olympiakos).

34:43

Attempt missed. Patrice Evra (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Robin van Persie with a cross following a corner.

34:00

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Roberto.

33:58

Attempt saved. Patrice Evra (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Robin van Persie with a cross.

33:17

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Iván Marcano.

31:19

Offside, Olympiakos. Giannis Maniatis tries a through ball, but Hernán Pérez is caught offside.

28:12

Foul by Phil Jones (Manchester United).

28:12

Joel Campbell (Olympiakos) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

26:37

Corner, Olympiakos. Conceded by Wayne Rooney.

26:35

Attempt blocked. Alejandro Domínguez (Olympiakos) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Joel Campbell.

24:03 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Manchester United 1, Olympiakos 0. Robin van Persie (Manchester United) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the bottom right corner.

22:44

Penalty Manchester United. Robin van Persie draws a foul in the penalty area.

22:44

Penalty conceded by Jose Holebas (Olympiakos) after a foul in the penalty area.

20:21

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Jose Holebas.

18:11

Michael Carrick (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

18:11

Foul by Delvin Ndinga (Olympiakos).

17:15

Attempt saved. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ryan Giggs with a cross.

14:54

Attempt missed. Hernán Pérez (Olympiakos) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Joel Campbell.

13:58

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Kostas Manolas.

12:31

Delvin Ndinga (Olympiakos) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

12:31

Foul by Luis Antonio Valencia (Manchester United).

12:01

Foul by David Fuster (Olympiakos).

12:01

Luis Antonio Valencia (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

9:45 Booking

Booking Michael Carrick (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

9:36

Hernán Pérez (Olympiakos) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

9:36

Foul by Michael Carrick (Manchester United).

8:59 Booking

Booking Alejandro Domínguez (Olympiakos) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

8:51

Foul by Alejandro Domínguez (Olympiakos).

8:51

Luis Antonio Valencia (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

8:04

Joel Campbell (Olympiakos) wins a free kick on the left wing.

8:04

Foul by Luis Antonio Valencia (Manchester United).

7:00

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

6:00

Delay in match Joel Campbell (Olympiakos) because of an injury.

6:00

Delay in match Luis Antonio Valencia (Manchester United) because of an injury.

4:56 Booking

Booking Kostas Manolas (Olympiakos) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

4:49

Foul by Kostas Manolas (Olympiakos).

4:49

Danny Welbeck (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

1:33

Leandro Salino (Olympiakos) wins a free kick on the right wing.

1:33

Foul by Phil Jones (Manchester United).

0:16

Jose Holebas (Olympiakos) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:16

Foul by Luis Antonio Valencia (Manchester United).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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