Champions League - Round of 16 - 1st Leg
OlympiakosOlympiakos2Man UtdManchester United0
By Mike HensonBBC Sport
Giannis Maniatis celebrates

Manchester United's Champions League campaign is in serious peril after they were comfortably beaten by Olympiakos in the last-16 first leg in Athens.

United, who registered only one shot on target, fell behind when Alejandro Dominguez diverted home Giannis Maniatis's effort before the break.

Arsenal loanee Joel Campbell's precise shot doubled the lead and the visitors only came to life late on.

Robin van Persie blazed over the top when they finally opened up the Greeks.

It would have been an injustice to the hosts had the Dutchman converted his late chance, however, after United's current limitations were exposed on a chastening night.

Olympiakos lead the Greek Super League by 20 points, having won 24 of 26 games, in sharp contrast to their opponents' increasingly forlorn Premier League title defence.

And, after reverses for Manchester City and Arsenal last week, the Greeks inflicted the third defeat of the round for English sides.

Olympiakos manager Michel had suggested before kick-off that United, whose best hope of passage into next year's Champions League appeared to be winning this season's competition, could fold under the pressure of knockout football.

The visitors, who were famously eliminated by Galatasaray in a similarly white-hot atmosphere in Istanbul in 1993, certainly fuelled the noisy home fans' enthusiasm with some early defensive wobbles.

Moyes takes responsibility for defeat

After Rio Ferdinand had misplaced a couple of passes, a last-ditch challenge from Nemanja Vidic only just ended Dominguez's run after he had advanced into the area unchallenged.

Dominguez continued to orchestrate Olympiakos's attacks from an advanced midfield role and with Juan Mata cup-tied, Adnan Januzaj left out of the match-day squad and Rooney frustrated by the referee and his own performance, the visitors lacked a similarly commanding figure.

So it was fitting that it was the Argentine who opened the scoring.

Maniatis's trundling low shot posed little danger to United goalkeeper David De Gea, but Dominguez's outstretched foot cleverly diverted the ball into the opposite corner giving the Spaniard too much ground to make up.

United, who had lacked energy and invention, showed slightly more purpose before the break, but could not create any clear-cut chances, goalkeeper Roberto dealing competently with the visitors' crosses.

David Moyes's half-time team-talk needed to focus players' minds and change their tactics but neither was in evidence as Tom Cleverley knocked the ball out of play under no pressure soon after kick-off.

A goal down, the visitors had no room for further error and Campbell's superb curling effort, after he slipped Michael Carrick's flimsy challenge, threatened to cut them adrift in the tie.

Moyes introduced Shinji Kagawa and Danny Welbeck at the expense of Antonio Valencia and Cleverley, but it did little to change the momentum.

Michael Olaitan sent a shot fizzing just over as the hosts revelled in the space and uncertainty in United's defence.

Only in the final 10 minutes were United able to bring any pressure to bear, but, after two measured touches had given him a clear sight of goal, Van Persie crashed over the top with his weaker right foot from Chris Smalling's cross.

It summed up a miserable new episode in Moyes's faltering first season in charge.

Line-ups

Olympiakos

  • 16Jiménez Gago
  • 30Salino
  • 20Holebas
  • 8Ndinga
  • 24Manolas
  • 25Marcano
  • 26CampbellSubstituted forFusterat 67'minutes
  • 2Maniatis
  • 99Olaitan
  • 35DomínguezSubstituted forMachadoat 76'minutes
  • 17PérezSubstituted forValdezat 86'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Machado
  • 14Samaris
  • 18Valdez
  • 19Fuster
  • 21Papadopoulos
  • 42Megyeri
  • 88Bong

Man Utd

  • 1de Gea
  • 12Smalling
  • 3EvraBooked at 3mins
  • 16Carrick
  • 5FerdinandBooked at 90mins
  • 15Vidic
  • 25A ValenciaSubstituted forWelbeckat 60'minutes
  • 23CleverleySubstituted forKagawaat 61'minutes
  • 20van Persie
  • 10Rooney
  • 18Young

Substitutes

  • 11Giggs
  • 13Lindegaard
  • 14Hernández
  • 19Welbeck
  • 26Kagawa
  • 28Büttner
  • 31Fellaini
Referee:
Gianluca Rocchi

Match Stats

Home TeamOlympiakosAway TeamMan Utd
Possession
Home39%
Away61%
Shots
Home12
Away7
Shots on Target
Home4
Away1
Corners
Home1
Away4
Fouls
Home10
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Olympiakos 2, Manchester United 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Olympiakos 2, Manchester United 0.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Jose Holebas.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ashley Young (Manchester United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

  5. Booking

    Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United).

  7. Post update

    David Fuster (Olympiakos) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Attempt saved. Robin van Persie (Manchester United) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Danny Welbeck.

  9. Post update

    Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Leandro Salino (Olympiakos).

  11. Post update

    Foul by Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United).

  12. Post update

    Paulo Machado (Olympiakos) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Wayne Rooney (Manchester United).

  14. Post update

    Nelson Valdez (Olympiakos) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Olympiakos. Nelson Valdez replaces Hernán Pérez.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Robin van Persie (Manchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Chris Smalling with a cross.

  17. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Robin van Persie (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Olympiakos. Conceded by Patrice Evra.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Olympiakos. Paulo Machado replaces Alejandro Domínguez.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Wayne Rooney (Manchester United).